Game 2 in the two game series between Minnesota and Milwaukee
The 22-12 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 16-19 Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night in Downtown Milwaukee at the Fiserv Forum. The Bucks are in the midst of a four game losing streak and are coming off one of their longest road trips of the season. They could use this one in the worst way. They are currently the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference after having risen to the top spot 10 days ago.
Milwaukee is 14-3 at home. Minnesota is only 7-11 away from the Target Center. Minnesota is also in the midst of a four game losing streak.
This is the second time these teams have played. The Bucks won the first match-up 115-102.
Vegas has the Bucks at a 69% chance to win and 7 point favorites. It is inevitable: one of these four game losing streaks will end for one of these two teams.
Keep winning the rebounding battle
This continues to keep the Bucks in games and keeps them in control of the possession battle. (An NBA team has a little over 100 possessions a game.) Milwaukee is in a statistical dead heat with Memphis (48.5 vs 48.4) in terms of overall team rebounding. Minnesota is not very strong in terms of team rebounding ( 42.4) Minnesota has an equalizer Rudy Gobert (12 rebound game) and he will give the Bucks trouble. But that is about it.
Controlling the glass will be key.
Hit some threes
The Bucks shot has been off as a team recently. Against Chicago Milwaukee only hit 20% of its three-point attempts.
Against Boston Giannis was 1 of 5 from behind the arc. Fans collectively sigh when he shoots from deep. That really is not a strong suit- yet- for Antetokounmpo. He needs to drive and draw contact.
Yet in the Coach Budenholzer system, where it is expected that you shoot a lot of threes, the Bucks need to start making them.
The Opponent: The Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota scores a ton scoring 114 points a game. They also don’t play much defense giving up 115 points per game
What makes the Timberwolves tick? They, like the Bucks, have a strong big three in newly acquired Rudy Gobert, number one overall pick (2015) Karl Anthony-Towns, and number one overall pick (2020) Anthony Edwards. And like the Bucks they have seen very little floor time together this year. That has led to a lot of opportunities for other guys.
Jaden McDaniels plays power forward right now for the injured Karl Anthony-Towns. (Towns has a severe leg injury) He has had an up and down year. He is averaging 11/4/2.
D’Angelo Russell also starts for Minnesota. The former first round pick taken second overall is the starting point guard.
Austin Rivers also has played a lot recently. He usually starts at the shooting guard position for the T-Wolves.
Naz Reid is their backup center. He tends to play the most off the bench but is not generally considered to be a “6th man”.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Rudy Gobert is only averaging 1.3 blocked shots per game.
- Gobert has never made a three point shot in his career.
- Brook Lopez has made 726 three pointers in his career.
- Minnesota has a “color crisis” on its hands. From what limited research we were able to conduct, Minnesota has the most official team colors in the NBA. The team’s main colors include midnight blue, lake blue, aurora green, frost white, and moonlight grey.
- Minnesota has yet to win an NBA championship in its history.
- The Milwaukee Bucks are the only NBA team to have won BOTH an Eastern and a Western Conference Championship.
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