Preview: Golden State Warriors at Milwaukee Bucks 1-7-2014

USA TODAY Sports

Warriors are hot - Milwaukee is freezing. And the weather is cold, too.

Golden State Warriors (23-13) at Milwaukee Bucks (7-26)

5:00 p.m. PT

Harris Bradley Center - Milwaukee, WI

TV: CSNBA/HD| Radio: KTCT 1050

Buddy blog: Brew Hoop

Name of the day: Giannis Antetokounmpo

\YAHN-iss ah-deh-toh-KOON-boh\

How bad is it in Milwaukee? Using the ole ws/48, it's worse than bad. The Bucks have had 1 (one) above average rotation player this year in John Henson. He's out for this game. Their second-best play has come from the 19 year old rookie called the Greek Freak. While Giannis is playing well for a rookie, he's still logging as slightly below average overall. Aside from the limited minutes (200-ish) of solid play from Miroslav Raduljica, the rest of the team is at a level somewhere between Mareese Speights and Toney Douglas.

The point: In his third year, Brandon Knight is playing at a higher level than he had in Detroit. Sadly, that higher level would be an average backup on a better team. Unless the Warriors have a horrendous night, this is a great game to get Stephen Curry (currently with the highest ws/48 among all active guards) some rest.

On the wing: Giannis and O.J. Mayo, Luke Ridnour and Caron Butler.  Oh dear, deer. The Bucks shoot badly to begin with - facing Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green is going to hurt.

Up front: Remember the buzz about Ersan Ilyasova? Or the buzz about Larry Sanders? That was so last year. Neither one is buzzworthy this year. Ilyasova is badly underperforming his $7.9 mil contract - to put it another way, you could get better production from Kent Bazemore at 10% of the cost. I wrote yesterday about what Andrew Bogut and David Lee are doing. This should be no contest, particularly without Henson. (Ekpe Udoh hasn't helped Milwaukee that much either - hard to be a glue guy when the pieces you're sticking together are mismatched.)

Overall: Yes, the Warriors are really hot, pushing to extend their win streak to 10. The Bucks are colder than the air outside their arena. Despite that, I expect the Bucks to at least put up some fight. Reports of conflict in the locker room notwithstanding, like all players the Bucks have some pride, and might even be up for this game. It won't matter.

It may be an additionally bitter night for some Bucks fans, with Andrew playing so well on a solid team. Bogut and Brandon Jennings were the top guns for Milwaukee the last time they won  40+ games. The Bucks have no one left, and only the prospect of gaining a decent player in the draft.

  • Warriors by 14
  • double-doubles: Lee, Bogut, Curry
  • no Warrior starter plays 30 minutes.
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