Milwaukee Bucks game previews between October 26 and October 30, including games against: Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, and Detroit Pistons.
Before the Bucks' season even started they had to deal with extreme hardship as Khris Middleton tore his hamstring and is projected to not make his return until right before the playoffs. Last year the Bucks finished 33-49 and were pretty much at full strength for the whole season and now that Middleton is out it will be necessary for Jabari and Giannis to shoulder much of the scoring load lost. The offseason additions of Mirza Teletovic, Matthew Dellavedova, and Tony Snell should help ameliorate some of the loss as well but there is certainly a large hole to fill. A big question surrounding this Bucks team is who plays the shooting guard position? Jason Kidd projects it to be Tony Snell, a player who has yet to see a minute of action with the Bucks, but there is a decent chance that he could lose it to Malcolm Brogdon or even Teletovic if Kidd decides that Giannis could guard the opposing team's SG. As of now, the projected lineup is Dellavedova (PG), Snell (SG), Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF), Jabari Parker (PF), and Miles Plumlee (C).
There will be a lot to look for from the Bucks, especially from Greg Monroe, who looks like he really wants to live up to his contract from what he's shown in the preseason. There will also be the rookies Brogdon and Thon Maker (who everyone's excited to see how he'll pan out), as well as the second year Rashad Vaughn, who has yet to prove that he belongs on the court (much less in the NBA at all). From what the Bucks have shown us in the preseason there is a lot of similarity to the second half of last year in that Giannis still looks like a stud, Jabari looks like an offensive powerhouse and a defensive Bambi, and we can expect plenty of opposing teams to go on big runs in the second half. As a team that is projected to win 36 games this year, the Bucks must come out of the gate strong and run as much as possible to maximize the strengths of Giannis and Jabari in the open court. Fingers crossed and let the season begin!
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Home
The season's finally here! After months of waiting and an exciting offseason filled with unexpected moves, we can finally get back to some good old-fashioned Bucks basketball.
Their matchup against the Charlotte Hornets marks the second consecutive year that the Bucks open the season at home after 20 plus years of starting the season on the road. The Hornets lost a few key contributors off their bench this offseason in Al Jefferson and Jeremy Lin but have added the likes of Roy Hibbert, Marco Belinelli, and Ramon Sessions as well as regaining defensive stalwart Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (MKG) who missed most of last year, due to injury. Their starting lineup of Kemba Walker (PG), Nicolas Batum (SG), MKG (SF), Marvin Williams (PF), and Cody Zeller (C) projects to be just as frightening for opponents as last year despite Vegas having their Over/Under at 40.5, which seems mighty disrespectful to a team that went 48-34 last year and took the 3rd-seeded Heat to seven games. Last year the Hornets won the season series 3-1 with the sole victory for the Bucks coming at Charlotte. They look to build off of their success last year and prove their doubters wrong, preferably by starting the season off with a win against a Bucks team that is projected to struggle mightily with the lack of their 2nd best player in Khris Middleton.
Saturday, 29 October 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Home
The poor Brooklyn Nets, damned to be stuck in NBA hell for the next few years as they don't own their own pick until 2019. This offseason didn't bring them much hope as they did not gain enough in terms of free agent additions to really move the needle. That being said having the deadly 'Brooklin' combo consisting of Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin could definitely be one of the few bright spots that the Nets will have this year. Along with 'Brooklin,' the Nets have managed to create a semblance of young developing players in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (RHJ), former first-overall pick Anthony Bennett, and my favorite pick of this year's draft, Caris Levert. The good news that Brooklyn fans can hold onto is that there is no reason for the Nets to try and tank so they should be trying their hardest each and every night to get the win because there's no incentive to losing anymore. The Bucks, coming off their Wednesday game, should have plenty of time to rest up and get back into the swing of things. It will be interesting to see how many minutes Brogdon and Vaughn will get as they continue to fight for that backup SG position. Look out for a big game from Jabari Parker as he will most likely be guarded by Trevor Booker and Luis Scola, neither of who can keep up with Jabari's explosive nature.
Sunday, 30 October 2016 at 06:00 PM ET Away
The Bucks caught a break here as the Pistons will be without their second best player in Reggie Jackson. Without him the PnR dynamic he and Andre Drummond had more of less falls apart, thus causing the scoring load to fall on the shoulders of Tobias Harris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope more which should be beneficial to the Bucks since they will be guarded by Giannis and Tony Snell respectively, both of who are good defenders. In addition to those two, there will be more post-ups for Drummond which definitely will help the Bucks as his post game is still developing and fouling him as he goes for a shot is a win for the defense as he shot an abhorrent 37% last year from the line. The Pistons were my sleeper pick for the 4th seed this year before Jackson went down, so it will be interesting to see how good they can perform with him on the bench for the next few weeks. The Bucks have that natural connection with the Pistons in Greg Monroe who always seems to step up his play against his former team and you can expect him to do the same on Sunday. The Pistons don't have much of an inside presence outside of Drummond (who is a poor rim protector anyway) and Aron Baynes, so the Bucks slashing should be quite effective and lead to some exciting dunks from the power trio of Antetokounmpo, Parker, and Plumlee.