Bucksketball Podcast

Trying to shake a mini Giannislump in OKC: Bucks — Thunder Preview

| January 11, 2014

Category: Game Previews

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Nate on Kevin (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nate on Kevin (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

 

What to Watch For: Bucks

Over his last three games, Giannis Antetokounmpo has made 1-of-10 field goals, committed 9 fouls and 8 turnovers and a racked up a cumulative +/- rating of -45.  In two of the games — against the Bulls and Suns — Larry Drew left him on the bench for the entirety of the fourth quarter.

This trend is one that needs to end soon because the current iteration of the Bucks is one that is already plenty tough enough on the eyes.

What to Watch For: Thunder 

With Russell Westbrook out with a knee injury, Kevin Durant has shouldered the scoring load for Oklahoma City.  Over his last 8 games, Durant has averaged 34.4 points per game — including two games with 48 points in the past week. 

If the Bucks try to get away with Caron Butler — who has yielded 1.14 points per possession (374th-best in NBA) — on Durant for any extended stretches of time, Durant might get his first 50-point game of the season.

Logistics

Time – 7:00 p.m. CST

TV – FS Wisconsin (local)

Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (hand; probable), John Henson (ankle; questionable), Zaza Pachulia (foot; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)

Thunder: Russell Westbrook (knee; out)

Projected Lineups

Bucks: 

PG Brandon Knight

SG Luke Ridnour

SF Giannis Antetokounmpo

PF Ersan Ilyasova

C Larry Sanders

Bulls:

PG: Reggie Jackson

SG: Thabo Sefolosha

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Serge Ibaka

C: Kendrick Perkins

Jeremy’s For Recreational Purposes Only Prediction (akaBetsketball KL’s Surrogate Betsketball)

Line: Oklahoma City (-14)

Over/Under: 197 

With both teams coming off losses, but with the Bucks not have a day of rest in between, I don’t like the Bucks’ chances at covering this sizable spread.  Without Westbrook, I do like their chances at holding Durant mildly in check and probably the overall score as well.

Thunder (-14), under 197

Record: 0-2 

Choose the Form of the Destroyer: Derek Fisher

Screen shot 2014-01-11 at 12.30.08 AM

It’s sad that Derek Fisher, Destroyer is even a possibility in the year 2014.  But if Kirk Hinrich can quarterback a win against the Bucks, then so can Fisher.

If the Bucks get caught up in over-pursuing the ball to the wrong places on the floor, Fisher will gladly receive a pass to the weak side and bury an open three. And if you try to drive by him in the open floor, he’ll whip out his S.A.G. member card with a violent windmill motion in an attempt to draw a charge call.  He’s nothing if not smart. No, really.  He’s literally nothing as an NBA player except for being smart.

But sometimes smart is enough to take out the Bucks.

Prediction: Thunder 90, Bucks 78

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Husband. Father. Blogger. Retired mathlete. I covered Larry Sanders' "Three Thumbs Up" game as credentialed media -- and failed to see well enough to witness the thumbing as it happened. On Twitter, I'm anaheimamigos.