The Milwaukee Bucks take on the opponent who started their roller coaster ride of a season two months ago, the Phoenix Suns. Back on February 10th, the Bucks lost a close game in which Giannis missed a pull-up mid-range shot at the buzzer. Sending Milwaukee into a five game losing skid in which many fans again called for Mike Budenholzer to be fired. After that skid they went on to win 14 of their next 15 contests to get back on track. The Suns game started the outcry for Budenholzer’s job, only for him hush most of the critics. Can the Bucks finally play a full game against them?
The Bucks Struggles Against the Suns
Losing five of their last six matchups, Milwaukee would like to right the ship. During Budenholzer’s tenure as the Bucks coach, it hasn’t been often that they lose multiple regular season games to the same team. The Suns are an exception to this rule. Whether Milwaukee in the past just simply played down to their competition, or Phoenix just simply knows how to beat them, they never go down easily. This year is different though. Phoenix is a force to be reckoned with. The addition of Chris Paul has changed things. Last year they missed out on the playoffs, while this year they are currently 1.5 games back out of first in the Western Conference. Hopefully with a healthy Jrue Holiday in the lineup the Bucks will see a positive outcome this time around.
Players to Watch
For Milwaukee, it seems the player who determines whether they win or lose lately is Khris Middleton. When Middleton plays at his best, Milwaukee almost always wins. However when his shot isn’t going down, or he’s turning the ball over, it can go haywire. Giannis will always give the team semi-efficient shots and rebound relatively effectively when healthy. But it is players like Middleton, who often need the ball in their hands and use the outside/mid-range shot regularly can have the quality of their play vary the most. If Khris can score efficiently, Milwaukee has a great shot.
As for Phoenix, Devin Booker is likely the player who poses the greatest threat to the Milwaukee defense. With Holiday likely guarding Chris Paul, Booker might be guarded primarily by either Bryn Forbes or Donte Divincenzo if he’s able to play. Obviously we know about Forbes’ defensive limitations. If he is again the starting shooting guard, look for Booker to have a pretty big game. Booker can go off at any time regardless of the defender, but obviously a poor defender only exponentiates the likelihood of a big game.
Prediction- Milwaukee wins 124 to 116
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