Only seventy-six more games to go! Bucks vs. Magic preview

I may or may not have already had this Photoshop on my computer ...

So, what did we learn last night?

  1. The Miami Heat are good at basketball.
  2. The Bucks will be hilariously bad at interior defense and rebounding without Larry Sanders.
  3. 9:10 11/12/13 occurred. WHY WAS I NOT TOLD EARLIER?!
  4. The next six weeks without Sanders will be agonizing.
  5. Giannis isn’t afraid to shoot threes. And I’m not afraid to watch him do it.

That’s all we learned. Nothing else. Stop asking questions! Here’s your Bucks v. Magic preview. The game is at 6:00 PM on FS-Wisconsin.

What to Watch For: Bucks

Rebounding has been a major problem for the Bucks in their last two games without Larry Sanders. Unfortunately, those games came against teams which are pretty poor at rebounding. The Magic are the fourth best rebounding team in the league, led by Nikola Vucevic who’s fourth in the league individually at 11.9 boards per game. Orlando’s activeness on the glass could cause even more glaring problems for the Bucks. It may be a long night.

What to Watch For: Magic

The Magic’s defense has struggled in their last two games, giving up 104 and 120 points in losses to the Hawks and Celtics respectively. They’re top ten in the league in pace so expect this along with their recently poor defense to create a high-scoring affair. The most exciting player on the Magic comes off their bench: Victor Oladipo. I’ll get to him a little further down in the preview.

Injury Report

Bucks: Sanders (thumb; out), Ersan Ilyasova (sprained ankle; day-to-day), Luke Ridnour (back; day-to-day)

Magic: Tobias Harris (left ankle sprain; out), Solomon Jones (left knee; out), Glen Davis (left foot; out)

Projected Lineups

Bucks:

PG Brandon Knight

SG O.J. Mayo

SF Caron Butler

PF John Henson

C Zaza Pachulia

Magic:

PG Jameer Nelson

SG Arron Afflalo

SF Maurice Harkless

PF Jason Maxiell

C Nikola Vucevic

Choose the Form of the Destructor:

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics

Victor Oladipo makes my heart swoon. The rookie out of Indiana is averaging 12.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals this season. (He’s also shooting 40.7 percent and committing 3.6 turnovers in only 25 minutes per game but SHHHHH.)  He’s aggressive with the ball, willing to absorb contact, and he’s already shown some elite defensive instincts.

His rookie season has been inconsistent so far. But it just seems likely he’ll have a big game against the Bucks. Every other player does. Milwaukee’s bigs will need to hedge hard when he’s the pick-and-roll ball handler to force traps and hopefully turnovers as Oladipo turns it over 21.6 percent of the times he’s the pick-and-roll ball handler, according to Synergy Sports.

Prediction:

Magic 113 – Bucks 98. My confidence in the Bucks is QUITE LOW.

Categories: Game Previews

Jon Hartzell is a writer/producer at NBA.com who likes the Bucks.

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