The Milwaukee Bucks had their rears promptly handed to them by the Cleveland Cavaliers mid-week without Giannis Antetokounmpo — now they’re looking to get back to winning this afternoon with the first in and away-away series against the Detroit Pistons.
Where We’re At
Just when it seems they’ve got it figured out, it is right back, into choppy waters for the Bucks. Their 40 point drubbing at the hands of the Cavs was concerning on a number of levels — defense hasn’t looked worse, team looked lifeless/checked out with two days of rest, Thanasis Antetokounmpo — and quickly brought the team back to earth after a three game-winning streak. The team defense continues to slouch towards a bottom-third finish and the offense has taken a small step back from second overall to fourth. If you’re looking for a silver lining from that mid-week disaster, it is vindication of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stature as the league’s true MVP because the Bucks have all the makings of a lottery locked team without him. At least he got a little rest which should benefit the team down the road.
For Detroit: they suck.
A rousing victory over the equally bad Washington Wizards last Monday was followed by a competitive defeat at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 117-124. Cap space anchor Marvin Bagley was sent packing to the Wizards alongside Isaiah Livers (and two future second-round picks) in exchange for the husks/expiring contracts of Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari. The season has been lost since the second week of play and so the organization is working to create as much cap space this summer as they can manage — not that anyone who will move the needle will sign with Detroit, but its a nice thought their GM can sell ownership to buy a little more time to cash checks before retiring to a tropical locale. Monty Williams has five more years on his contract after this season. Lol.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is probable (right shoulder contusion) after missing Milwaukee’s last game, and Detroit will be missing Cade Cunningham (left knee strain), Isaiah Stewart (left ankle sprain), and Monte Morris (right quad strain).
Player to Watch
I really can’t emphasize enough that the Pistons are 4-37, and so finding someone who is worth highlighting is tough. So, in honor of our co-managing editor emeritus Mitchell Maurer, I’m going to highlight new Piston Mike Muscala. Muscala, who has been a favorite end-of-the-bench-big option of my former volunteer boss for a long time, recently arrived to Detroit via a trade meant to free up cap space this summer via expiring contracts. He made his triumphant debut against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, logging 14 minutes of play, 0 points (0/4 from the floor), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a plus/minus of +6. Keep an eye on this space in free agency, for Mitchell’s sake.
How to Watch
Bally Sports WI at 2:00 PM CST.
Game 42: Against the Pistons, the Bucks will...
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