During last year’s pandemic-affected season, we had the opportunity to see the Milwaukee Bucks play a number of “mini-series” in which they would face the same opponent in back-to-back matches. While we’ve got three this year (twice against the Magic and once against the Hornets, for whatever reason), they’re far from the norm. Instead, we’ll gladly take the opportunity to have a pseudo-streak against the San Antonio Spurs as they come to town to play the Bucks just a week after their last showdown – a 121-111 win. for Milwaukee. Can the Bucks bounce back from a home loss on Wednesday and squeeze another win past the Spurs?
Where are we
Injuries Injuries Injuries. This is the main theme of this young year, and it is one that we dealt with barely a week ago in San Antonio! Then, Jrue Holiday was able to get dressed a few days after a bruised heel at the start of the season. Now Jrue and Brook Lopez have been sidelined for (more) a week, squeezing the Bucks bench into an increasingly demanding frontline serve. While Milwaukee may have outlived a thrilled Indiana Pacers squad, their shortness has been regularly exploited by the Minnesota Timberwolves as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s starting lineups at center continue to be a work in progress. Still, the Bucks came back from a 20-point hole to get it in the 2 with about 10 seconds left. Plus, we got this all-time quote from Anthony Edwards regarding Giannis:
Since the last time we saw the Spurs they have lost two more games, losing 125-121 to the Los Angeles Lakers and 104-99 to the Dallas Mavericks. Their net over the year rating (+0.2) sits exactly at the league average, and although they have the highest two-point selection rate in the NBA, they are almost the last. when it comes to 1) getting to the free throwing line and 2) converting when they’re there – 15.0 FTA per game while hitting 64.0% as a team. That means it’s a whole bunch of midrange, a fact that normally be a cause for concern for the Milwaukee Zone Removal System. However, with Giannis at five, perfect zone suppression is not possible, so maybe our sloppy rotations and sort of zone suppression system / sort of switching will hold together where it counts. With Doug McDermott following a knee injury, the Spurs are going to be even more devious beyond the arc.
Injuries in Milwaukee: Jrue Holiday OUT (ankle), Brook Lopez OUT (back), Donte DiVincenzo (ankle)
Injuries in San Antonio: Doug McDermott OUT (knee), Zach Collins OUT (foot)
Player to watch
The second time, is it the charm? Semi Ojeleye? Anybody? His debut with the Bucks was less than stellar with 12 minutes played, a goose egg from a three-point field, and 1 steal and 1 rebound. With Milwaukee continually on their starting cross and the Spurs equipped with a million players between 6’4 “and 6’8”, there’s no better time than the present to get back there. Realistically, unless he’s a true wrecking ball in defense, his time in Milwaukee will be done or broken by if he can increase that 0% mark from three. No pressure!
Jakob Pöltl will be Spurs ‘choice if only because he threw a hard blow into Giannis’ attacking approach the last time the two sides met. Big enough to hang hard in the paint, reflexes quick enough to maintain contact in space, and not an easy guy to seal for a bounce, the way he plays on both sides will have a disproportionate impact on how far Milwaukee travels. .
Match 6: Against San Antonio, Milwaukee will …
Win big (10 points or more)
Win close (9 points or less)
Lose up close (9 points or less)
Lose big (10 points or more)
11 votes in total
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