Milwaukee Bucks game previews between November 7 and November 13, including games against: Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans.
Basketball fans like stats right? Because I have some for you: in the 290 minutes that the Bucks have played all season, Giannis has been on the court for 202 of them and has a plus-minus of +55. In the 86 minutes that he has been off the court? -31. In addition, over the past week Giannis has put up averages of 22.7ppg/8apg/8rpg/2.3spg/1.7bpg on 56.5 FG% all while leading the team to a 3-0 record. Oh that's not enough for you? How about this, Giannis is leading the Bucks in every single statistical category imaginable outside of 3pt%. His partner in crime, Jabari Parker has also had an incredible week as he had put up scoring outputs of 19, 21, and 27 (4-6 from 3). The team seems to be coming together but it is obviously still tough to tell if they will be able to keep up their scoring performances which have been 117, 117, and 125. We have finally seen a little bit of Thon Maker, much to the delight of fans everywhere, especially after he canned two three-pointers in 74 seconds of play against the Pacers. This past week the Bucks have showed how good they can be, even in the absence of Khris Middleton.
New Orleans Pelicans
Thursday, 10 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Home
The Bucks will play the Pelicans for the second time this season. The first game was a 117-113 Bucks win in which Anthony Davis had 35 points and 15 rebounds. As Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans are still out (the two best players on the Pelicans not named Anthony Davis), the onus of getting that first victory falls once more upon AD's shoulders. Davis, for what it's worth, has been an absolute monster since the start of the season averaging 30ppg/11.7rpg/3.3bpg and as of now is really the only reason worth watching the Pelicans play as of right now (sorry Pels' fans). Tim Frazier, the Pelicans backup PG, has stepped up in a big way since being forced into the starting lineup in Holiday's absence as he scored 20 points and dished out 9 assists against the Bucks last week but despite averaging 13/7 on 52.5% shooting, his inability to stop defenders has led to him giving up as many points as he scores. Rookie Buddy Hield continues to struggle as well (31.7 FG%), something that not many people, myself included, had projected as he had been highly-touted as an NBA-ready prospect. However, it should only be a matter of time before his shot starts to fall.
The keys to this game are quite simple and straightforward... Keep AD from scoring 45+ and let Giannis create for the rest of the team. Giannis and Jabari should have good matchups yet again if the Alvin Gentry throws out the same lineup as he did against the Suns which featured Solomon Hill at the small forward position and Terrence Jones at the power forward spot. Jabari especially has a great matchup as Jones struggles to keep up with anyone on defense and he should be able to score from anywhere on the floor at will. As for the rest of the Bucks, they simply need to keep doing what they've been doing, which is hitting threes at a very solid rate. While Teletovic probably won't be 7-9 from 3 every night, players like him and Vaughn do a great service to Giannis and Jabari by hitting threes when given the opportunity.
Saturday, 12 November 2016 at 08:30 PM ET Home
Sitting at 3-3 right now, the Grizzlies' season essentially starts tonight (Nov 6th) against the Blazers as they will finally be back to full strength with the return of Chandler Parsons. The fact that they have managed a .500 record despite missing one of their max players speaks volumes about how good this team, that constantly gets slept on, can be. When talking about contenders in the West the Grizzlies have, in recent memory, been right there in terms of competition but have consistently fallen short due to injuries. With Mike Conley looking like he at least somewhat deserves the largest contract in history and the return of Marc Gasol and Parsons, this Grizzlies team is not one to be trifled with. Parsons is a huge upgrade from their current small forward starter, James Ennis, who very well could not have made an NBA team this offseason and gives the Grizzlies another playmaker on the floor to pair nicely with Conley. They also have plenty of punch off the bench ever since Zach Randolph accepted the move there this offseason, even though he is still good for 15 points and 8 rebounds every night. The Grizzlies are entering their final stretch of contention in the NBA as they have an extremely old core and if they were to make some noise, this would be the season to do it.
Known for their "grind it out" style of play, the Grizzlies defense has been feared around the league as they have stellar defenders in Conley, Gasol, and perennial All-Defensive Tony Allen. This means that the Bucks will have to up the pace in order to not get bogged down in their predictable half-court offense. Giannis and Co. will need to run the fast break as much as possible if they want to score on this Grizzlies team and will have to attack weak points in the defense, such as JaMychal Green and Chandler Parson, if they want to break the game open. Giannis may struggle a little bit if he is guarded by Tony Allen, but being so much taller and longer he should be able to take him in the post and feast down there. The Bucks will also have to be wary of former Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol holding down the middle when driving into the lane as he very well could shut down the slashing that the Bucks love to do so much. This game will probably be won if the Bucks can shoot and make enough threes early on to force the Grizzlies to step out and guard them, opening up the rest of the floor for Giannis and Delly to drive and create for the rest of the team.