What to Watch For: Bucks
The Bucks have a chance to cruise into All-Star Weekend with 30 wins, which would double their win total from last season. Despite another wave of injuries, Milwaukee is playing some of its best basketball of the season of late. A win Wednesday would be the team’s eighth in nine games with the only loss coming at the hands of the 36-16 Rockets.
The Bucks have been a model of team basketball this season and are beginning to garner regular national recognition, but the primary storyline Wednesday will be the play of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounpo, who will represent Milwaukee in both the Rising Stars Challenge and the Slam Dunk Contest this weekend, is in the midst of the best stretch of his young career. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week has scored in double-figures in eight straight games and is averaging 18.0 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists over his last five contests. He nearly missed a triple-double against the Nets on Monday, putting up 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in 32 minutes before sitting the entire fourth quarter. Antetokounmpo has battled inconsistency throughout his first year-and-a-half in the league, but he appears to be in the process of turning a significant corner before our eyes. A strong performance heading into All-Star Weekend would be the cherry on top of an excellent couple of weeks for both Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
What to Watch For: Kings
I genuinely feel bad for players drafted by the Sacramento Kings. The organization, from the top down, has been a mess for the better part of the last decade, and if the reports are true, the Kings will have their third coach of the season after the All-Star break. While the Kings were probably never going to be a playoff team in the West, they began the season 9-5 and hovered around .500 until Mike Malone was unexpectedly fired in mid-December. Tyrone Corbin – TYRONE CORBIN – stepped in as Malone’s replacement, and the affect on the team’s performance and attitude was immediately salient. Since the coaching change, Sacramento has fallen back into its old ways, with DeMarcus Cousins growing increasingly restless by the day. To put it nicely, the All-Star break couldn’t come at a better time for a team desperately in need of, well, a break.
Time: 7 p.m. CST
TV: Fox Sports Wisconsin
Radio: 620 WTMJ
Bucks: Kenyon Martin (ankle; questionable); Larry Sanders (NBA suspension, out); Kendall Marshall (right knee ACL tear, out); Damien Inglis (right ankle surgery, out); Jabari Parker (left knee surgery, out)
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