The Milwaukee Bucks will be playing their final game with Joe Prunty as the interim head coach against the New Orleans Pelicans, as last night after their 112-100 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, they made the Doc Rivers hiring official. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski later reported that Rivers will make his coaching debut with the Bucks on the road against the Denver Nuggets on Monday:
Doc Rivers is expected to make his Milwaukee Bucks coaching debut vs. the Denver Nuggets on Monday, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 27, 2024
Where We’re At
The Bucks are 1-1 with Prunty holding down the fort, winning on Wednesday against the Cavs, with Giannis getting his second triple-double in a row, before losing yesterday to the Cavs to split the season series 2-2. The Bucks’ defensive rating has risen to 18th in the league over the last few games after being in the bottom five during the last few games of Adrian Griffin. Damian Lillard had a rough go against the stout Cleveland defense as he scored just 22 points on an abysmal 7-for-24 shooting from the floor and 2-of-10 from beyond the arc. It was a difficult night for everyone on the Bucks’ offense as they shot just 40.2% from the field and had 18 turnovers.
Despite being tied for the fifth seed in the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans have been wildly inconsistent over their last seven games, going 3-4 in those contests. Nothing proves that even more than the fact that they scored 153 points against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday and then only put up 83 points yesterday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jonas Valanciunas was the leading scorer with just 14 points and also had nine rebounds. Brandon Ingram is down to just 17.4 points per game in his last five games, despite having a season average of 21.1.
The Bucks will still most likely have Giannis (probable with back spasms) in the starting lineup, but they will be without Khris Middleton who is sitting to manage his right knee.
Zion Williamson is listed as questionable with a bone contusion in his left foot. Cody Zeller will be available as he recovers from a face injury and will wear a mask.
Player To Watch
Rookie guard Jordan Hawkins has been coming alive for the Pelicans over the last five games, with him being the fifth leading scorer for New Orleans at 11.6 points per game. That comes from his impressive shooting efficiency, with the former national champion shooting 52.8% from the field on 7.2 attempts, while also shooting 51.9% from beyond the arc at 5.4 attempts per game. Hawkins was the leading scorer off the bench for the Pelicans on Friday against the Thunder with nine points.
How To Watch
Bally Sports WI at 7:00 PM CST.
Game 46: against the Pelicans, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)