Bring in the reserves: Bucks – Thunder Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks haven’t won consecutive regular season games since Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell led the team to that undefeated season in 2000.

I’m not sure how accurate that first sentence was, but I do know it’s been a while since the Bucks won back-to-back games. Hell of an opportunity tonight.

What to Watch For: Bucks

Be ready for another lineup change. Always be ready.

Aside from that? Milwaukee might put on a defensive show tonight. Milwaukee enters this game 4th in the league in defensive rating, while the Thunder enter the game 24th in offensive rating and first overall in sadness. But the Bucks aren’t a team that’s in much of a position to show mercy, given the injury and ineffectiveness problems they’ve faced over the past … decade. So the Bucks will probably be their usual (so far) swarming selves on defense. They’ll try and create turnovers and then score baskets off those turnovers.

The Thunder are averaging 18.4 turnovers per game. That sounds like a team that may bend the Bucks defensive will.

What to Watch For: Thunder

Reggie Jackson, I guess? He’s averaging 20 points and eight assists nightly. Preston would prefer him over Brandon Knight. But I don’t want to get into that ever again. At least not for a while. Aside from Jackson, Jeremy Lamb has a fantastic first name and through two games this season, he’s averaging 17 points per game. There’s no reason this season shouldn’t be his long awaited breakout season. If it isn’t, I’m not sure it’s coming. Serge Ibaka is still playing too. More on Ibaka in a bit.

The Thunder are hurting, but they’re still out there giving it their all. They beat the 5-1 Kings on Saturday night. The 5-1 Kings. Weird season.

Logistics:

Time – 7:00 p.m. CST  TV – FS-Wisconsin  Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Damien Inglis (foot, still out); Johnny O’Bryant (knee, remains inactive)

Thunder: OH MY GOD THERE’S SO MUCH BLOOD

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Projected Lineups

Bucks: Brandon Knight – Jared DudleyJabari ParkerErsan IlyasovaLarry Sanders

Thunder: Reggie Jackson – Jeremy Lamb – Someone Else – Serge Ibaka – Steven Adams

Choose the Form of the Destructor: Serge Ibaka

Remember when I was like, “Hey, I’ll get cute and predict a big night from Vince Carter since Memphis is in town!” That did not go well. After I predicted him Destructor he failed to even get off the bench against Milwaukee last Saturday. A DNP – Old kind of night.

So tonight, I’ll stick with a star. Ibaka is what’s left of the Big Three Oklahoma City has fashioned out of the last decade of drafts. Without Durant and Westbrook, it’d be easy to assume he’d be running wild, launching jumpers and demanding the ball in the post every other possession. But his numbers haven’t fluctuated all that much. He’s only averaged about an extra two shots per night this season over last season. He is launching threes like a gunner all of a sudden though.

He’s up around five 3-pointers attempted nightly this season after not even averaging one attempt per game last season. And he’s making over 40% of his threes! That’s incredible.

Prediction: This Will Be Milwaukee’s Most Complete Victory Of This Young Season So Far

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