Prior to this five game win streak, the Bucks beat the Nuggets in Denver, their first game without Jrue Holiday. In the Mile High City, Milwaukee pulled off a 112-125 victory thanks largely to Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis scored 30, Khris scored 29, Torrey Craig even made three triples. While Jokic had 35 for the evening, no other Nugget scored over 24 points. It was a total team effort.
Immediately following that game, Milwaukee seemed to have lost its identity and lost five consecutive games. Since then however, the Bucks have rattled off five straight wins with the most recent coming against a tough Clipper team. As a team, the Bucks went on a five game win streak, followed by a five game losing streak, and are on a five game winning streak again now. Will Milwaukee be able to prevail and break through the five game streak barrier?
Giannis is Back in MVP Form
Despite everyone saying Giannis simply cannot win MVP for the third consecutive year, he has been making a strong case. With Jrue Holiday missing time due to COVID-19, Giannis has stepped up his game significantly. Since Jrue went down, the Greak Freek has averaged 33.18 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists over an 11 game span. Going 6-5 since then is okay but it doesn’t tell the whole story because he did about as much as he could do individually. Losing some games while the rest of the squad tried to get used to missing Jrue should not be held against him.
It feels like he’s truly figuring everything out again. If he can somehow keep up his current pace there’s no doubt he should be MVP again but that’s a tall task. It’s truly exciting to see Giannis find new ways to score in the modified offense and display his defensive dominance again. Even if his scoring comes down a bit with Jrue coming back, his free throw improvement should scare opponents. Can Giannis become the first player since Larry Bird to win three MVPS in a row? A big game tonight would help him make his case.
Jokic Trying to Stay in the MVP Race
Winning four of their last six games, the Nuggets come into the game with a record of 19-15. While not possessing a dominant record, Denver is still a very solid team. Additionally, they have a 10-8 record on the road which is nothing to sneeze at. If you didn’t already know, the clear leader of their squad is Nikola Jokic.
Averaging 27 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists per game for the season; Jokic has firmly planted his foot in the MVP conversation. He might very well be the most gifted passing center the league has ever seen. Furthermore, he is a gifted scorer from all levels of the court. This is all despite being arguably the least athletic player in the league. Jokic is the opposite of some say Giannis is, all skill and no athleticism (obviously it is the belief of this writer that Giannis IS skilled). The player who stands out more in this game might gain a few MVP votes at the end of the regular season. If Lopez and Portis can limit Jokic, Milwaukee has a great chance of winning.
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