Trying to shake a mini Giannislump in OKC: Bucks — Thunder Preview
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.
Time – 7:00 p.m. CST
TV – FS Wisconsin (local)
Radio – 620 WTMJ
Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (hand; probable), John Henson (ankle; questionable), Zaza Pachulia (foot; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)
Thunder: Russell Westbrook (knee; out)
PG Brandon Knight
SG Luke Ridnour
SF Giannis Antetokounmpo
PF Ersan Ilyasova
C Larry Sanders
PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Thabo Sefolosha
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Serge Ibaka
C: Kendrick Perkins
Jeremy’s For Recreational Purposes Only Prediction (aka Betsketball KL’s Surrogate Betsketball)
Line: Oklahoma City (-14)
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
Choose the Form of the Destroyer: Derek Fisher
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
Categories: Game Previews