The Milwaukee Bucks are ready for a “Lillard Homecoming”
The (32-15) Milwaukee Bucks take on the (14-33) Portland Trail Blazers to continue a 5-game road trip. The Trail Blazers have played well lately winning against the 76er’s last night (130-104). The game will be televised on ESPN.
Portland is not very good at home (8-13). Then again they haven’t done much better on the road either going (6-20). Last season they were dominant at home. Of course, they had Damian Lillard. He made some interesting comments recently about maybe, just maybe, wanting to go back.
This is the second, and last, time these two teams will play this season unless they both make the NBA finals. Milwaukee won game 1 (108-102).
Vegas has the Blazers as underdogs at home by 13 points. This game will really depend upon who all plays.
Related: Milwaukee Bucks: Chauncey Billups’ True Feelings on Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers Return
Keys for the Milwaukee Bucks
Make their free throws
Milwaukee was 19-25 from the line against the Nuggets. It made the game feel closer than it needed to be and led to the eventual loss. That 6 points would have been helpful in a six point loss (113-107).
Giannis was called for a “10-second” violation. That also did not help.
Milwaukee’s team free throw shooting percentage on the season is 77.9%. Milwaukee needs to start shooting over that number. Making 3 of 4 shots seems like something that should be easy. With so many guys attacking the basket, those are bankable points.
Keep shooting the three
The Bucks average 37 three point attempts a game. (Portland only averages 34 per game, sixth lowest in the NBA) The Bucks and their offense is built around Giannis driving the ball and kicking it out to a shooter. This game should have that feel of a normal, NBA regular season game. We can expect very little defense until the fourth quarter.
So who needs to make some threes? How about a 6-10 night from behind the three-point line for Khash Money Khris? Of course, all eyes will be on the three point shotting of former Blazers star Damian Lillard. On the season Lillard is averaging 25.2 points a game. Bucks fans would love to see that number go higher.
Again, he’s with us now.
The Opponent: The Portland Trail Blazers
I’m not really sure what is going on with the Blazers this year. Because of all the guys who have been out, and because of some interesting roster construction, I’m just not sure what the plan is for this team?
Anfernee Simmons is scoring with 22.8 points a game. Former Bucks Malcom Brogdon has been a good addition for Portland. He is averaging 15.9 points per game.
Jermani Grant is having a great, career-year. He is averaging over 20 points but it really playing hard. (21/4/2)
Deandre Ayton was the prize, along with picks, for Lillard. He is not scoring as much (13.4 a game) but continues to be a great rebounder (10.4).
Again, this roster just feels a little off. Scoot Henderson, the rookie 1st round pick, started the season off really hot. He has since cooled off dramatically. Is this franchise trying to build around him?
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- The Blazers have only won one NBA Championship (1977).
- The team’s name is an allusion to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which ended not far from present-day Portland.
- The longest winning streak in Milwaukee Bucks history is 20 games, set during the 1970-71 season. The winning streak started on Feb 6, 1971 with a 111-85 win over the San Francisco Warriors and ended on Mar 9 with a 103-110 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
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