Date: Friday Jan. 12, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. PST
Location: BMO Harris Bradley Center—Milwaukee, WI
TV: NBCBA, ESPN
Radio: 95.7 The Game
Buddy Blog/Enemy Blog: Brew Hoop
Warriors: Stephen Curry (not-serious ankle injury, questionable), Andre Iguodala (left knee, probable), Shaun Livingston (left knee, probable)
Bucks: Jabari Parker (knee, out)
The Bucks: Giannis will slit your throat
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is 23, has emerged has a top-five player in the NBA (Don’t worry, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are on the list too). What’s more? “The Alphabet” shoots under 30% from beyond the arc. If he develops a long-range shot he’ll be even scarier. With Giannis, we can’t count Milwaukee out, even if Stephen Curry plays. Antetokounmpo has the “it” factor and beating the Warriors will only add to his resume. If the Bucks win tonight, Antetokounmpo will be the catalyst.
Milwaukee also matches up well with the Warriors, if that’s possible. Antetokounmpo is one of the only players in the game who can physically match up with Durant. Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon are not stars, but can curate contrasting tempos from the point guard position— Bledsoe is frenetic while Brogdon is cool and collected. With Khris Middleton in the mix, Milwaukee’s offense boasts a gumbo of scoring options. Milwaukee’s talent pales in comparison to Golden State, especially with Jabari Parker out. However, with their defensive tenacity and unpredictable offense, the Bucks have nothing to lose at home on Friday.
What to watch for: Matthew Dellavedova will play tonight and showcase his life-size mosquito impersonation for 15 minutes. He’s the worst. If Curry plays, I’m irrationally frightened that Dellvadova will re-injure him.
So, yeah, the Bucks are a tricky scouting report. So tricky, in fact, that I wrote a poem to complement this preview because that captured my feelings better.
Cold in Milwaukee: A poem
Imagine, the pride of Athens, thriving in the Upper Midwest
Dominating, with that ferocious deer on his chest
Possessed, the Bucks fight, but rarely see the Dubs
To KD, Steph, Draymond and Klay, these dudes are scrubs
But wait, it’s only the regular season
Freezing breezes, snow, in Milwaukee
Relax, sit down, let’s not get cocky
The Warriors: Lou Williams Recovery Session
Like Giannis, Kevin Durant will be motivated to put on a show Friday: Giannis vs. KD, two of the NBA unicorns, mano a mano. It’s the perfect game for national television on Friday night. Casual fans will be delighted to tune in tonight for the stars, not the outcome.
The Dubs have yet to lose two games in a row this season, so I don’t expect that to start now. Additionally, Draymond Green, Patrick McCaw and Nick Young should bounce back after a combined 1-for-15 from three on Wednesday. If the trio can shoot 35% tonight, the bucks won’t stand a chance.
What to watch for: I don’t think we talk enough about Omri Casspi and his cuts to the basket. He’s essentially abandoned shooting threes, but his offensive movement is like a rickshaw dancing through moving traffic. The man just knows where to be and when. If Green, Iguodala and the bench go cold, Casspi might be the guy.
We still don’t know about Curry so I’m not going to speculate.
The Warriors will win tonight. Kerr’s boyz don’t lose two in a row. Ever.