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Warriors vs. Bucks Preview: Oh, a really good team, how great

Just the team the Warriors were hoping to face.

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Golden State Warriors v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have lost three games in a row, and seven of their last eight. They’ve been the worst team in the NBA for the last two weeks.

The good news is, they’re back home. The bad news is, they’re facing one of the best teams in the NBA.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors (23-27) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (32-17)

When: 7:00 p.m. PT

Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California

TV: TNT (available on fuboTV)

Projected starting lineups:

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Donte DiVincenzo, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez

Last results:

Warriors: Lost to the Hawks 117-111 — 1-4 in their last 5 games
Bucks: Beat the Kings 129-128 — 3-2 in their last 5 games

Team ratings (garbage-time adjusted, per Cleaning The Glass):

Warriors: 108.7 offense (24th), 112.0 defense (11th), -3.2 net (22nd)
Bucks: 117.6 offense (6th), 111.3 defense (9th), +6.3 net (4th)

The story

The Warriors are a mediocre team and currently playing the worst basketball in the league. The Bucks are title contenders.

Sorry, were you expecting something else?

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Jordan Poole.

The Warriors desperately need some output from their bench, which has been colder than that beer you forgot about and has been in the back of the fridge for six months, hiding behind the milk you’ve been procrastinating throwing out.

Poole can help fix that, but he’s been slumping a bit after his spectacular stretch. It probably doesn’t help that his minutes have dropped lately, in part due to Steph Curry’s return. Over the last four games, Poole is averaging 19.0 minutes, 8.0 points, and 1.5 assists per game, while shooting just 28.6% from the field and 26.9% from three-point range.

He’ll bounce back. If he bounced back vs. the Bucks, that sure would help.

Buck to watch: Jrue Holiday.

Holiday just signed a massive extension to stay with the Bucks, a team he only joined this season. It locks up the Bucks core of Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and ensures that Milwaukee will be a force to be reckoned with for many years.

He’s a strong offensive player — he’s averaging 17.0 points and 5.4 assists per game this year, while shooting 39.0% from deep — but where he really shines is on defense. He’ll be tasked with trying to stop Steph Curry, who is apparently the only Warrior capable of playing decent offense these days.

Matchup to watch: Draymond Green vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Green recently said that he isn’t motivated by a play-in game, but he might be motivated by defending the reigning two-time MVP. Green and Antetokounmpo are two of the most unique players in the NBA, and watching the former try and defend the latter is always great theater.

Keys to victory

  • Don’t let the ball get stagnant — cut and pass on offense
  • Lean heavily on Steph Curry
  • Try not to foul seven million times

A win will be very hard. They should do it anyway.

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