Milwaukee Bucks game previews between October 31 and November 6, including games against: Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans.
There has been much to note of the Bucks performance throughout this first week of play. Giannis looks like a bonafide star with a real shot at the All-Star game this year, Delly has proven to be a significant upgrade over MCW, and Rashad Vaughn had an incredible breakout game with 22 points on 47% shooting against the Nets. Unfortunately after those three, things don't look so good. Plumlee has looked absolutely terrible, and certainly much worse than Greg Monroe and John Henson, Jabari has looked passive and frustrated on the offensive end, and offseason additions of Teletovic and Snell certainly haven't looked great. Overall the team has struggled mightily without Giannis on the floor, especially since Kidd isn't staggering the minutes of Giannis and Jabari in order to maximize offensive potency. Hopefully, this week will start to show the team's true potential as the chemistry starts to build between the players.
New Orleans Pelicans
Tuesday, 1 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
Anthony Davis is back! Starting off the season with a combined 90 points in the first two games is a great way to remind NBA fans that Karl-Anthony Towns isn't the only young superstar PF/C in the game. Davis regularly feasts on the Bucks weak interior defense, and certainly will Tuesday night if he's guarded by (shudder) Jabari Parker. A possible scenario is a change up in the lineup with the insertion of Monroe or Henson at the PF position; creating a potential lineup of Delly, Giannis, Jabari, Monroe/Henson, Plumlee... spacing be damned! I honestly wouldn't put it past Kidd to try something of this nature as he loves trying a wide array of lineups in the attempt of finding cohesion. In addition to AD, some players to watch include Buddy Hield and the small yet impressive Tim Frazier. Hopefully Vaughn continues playing with confidence and Jabari finds his mojo once more, if these things happen (as well as keeping AD under 50), there's a very solid chance that the Bucks can pull away with the W and start to build a successful season.
Thursday, 3 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Home
Paul George and the new-look Pacers come to town as they look to recover from a slow start to the season which included a loss to the Brooklyn Nets. 2nd-year center Myles Turner has astonished viewers everywhere as he has been able to score efficiently as well as defend the rim. His ability to pick and pop for a three gives the Pacers an ability to spread the floor that few teams could replicate. Giannis is going to have his work cut out for him as he will be guarded by Paul George, a player known for his prowess on the defensive end. The Bucks really have to step up their defense, especially in the pick and pop scenario or else Jeff Teague and Turner will feast all night long. As a team that has plenty of capable 3-point shooters (Teague, George, Turner, Robinson, Miles), the Bucks need to step out and defend them, something that they struggled with last year and have as well so far this year. The two points of weakness that the Bucks can exploit are at the SG and PF positions with Monta Ellis and Thaddeus Young respectively. Tony Snell should be able to use his size, he's seven inches taller than Ellis, in order to create shots and Parker should be able to create off the drive against Young. The Bucks bench continues to be a huge minus when on the floor and hopefully we'll see Kidd adapt if that continues to be the case in this game as well.
Saturday, 5 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Home
Superstar week continues with the Kings as Demarcus Cousins comes to Milwaukee, supplanting AD then Paul George as the superstar that the Bucks have to contain. The ever-dysfunctional Sacramento Kings have actually looked somewhat reasonable this year as they have started the year off 2-1. Rudy Gay has had a resurgence of sorts and the Kings seem to be rallying under new head coach Dave Joerger. This very well could be another 30+ point game for Giannis as he'll be guarded by Rudy Gay who certainly is no defensive stalwart and with Boogie, another average defender, protecting the rim most of the time he should be able to feast off of drives. The Kings offseason additions of Ty Lawson, Aaron Afflalo, and Matt Barnes seem to have worked out quite nicely for them as each complement Boogie very nicely in their ability to facilitate as well as spread the floor. If the Kings roll out their 2 Center lineup against the Bucks (Boogie at PF and Kosta Koufos at C), be ready for Jabari Parker to score on one end and then immediately give up a basket on the other. It will quickly become a game of chicken between Kidd and Joerger to see who will bend first and make a substitution, my bet's on Joerger.
Sunday, 6 November 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Away
How long can Dirk keep this level of production up? This is a question that has been asked about him for about the past 3 years, and each year he continues to score and score and score. While Dirk missed last Saturday's game against the Rockets, he should be back in action by this time in order to tear Jabari up on defense. The Mavs have made a slight upgrade over the summer at the center position with the acquisition of Andrew Bogut but the most intriguing addition is definitely Harrison Barnes who signed a 4-year max deal with the Mavs after an abysmal NBA finals series against the Cavs. While many have questioned the signing, Barnes has delivered so far starting off the season averaging 25 PPG on an astounding 56.8% shooting. This Mavs team certainly doesn't project to make the playoffs and has started off the season slowly, but that doesn't mean that the Bucks should take them lightly, especially Harrison Barnes who has looked like a completely different player since being released from the yoke of Golden State and becoming the number one option in Dallas. The points of focus for the Bucks are easy: don't let Dirk and Barnes rip the defense to shreds and attack Dirk on the offensive end as much as possible. If they keep those two under control the Bucks should be able to steal one on the road.