The 15-5 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 8-12 Los Angeles Lakers Friday Night in downtown Milwaukee at the Fiserv forum. Stop at Good Company, The Mecca, or Drink Wisconsinbly and take in the one time the Lakers will be in Milwaukee this season. Game time is a little earlier (6:30 pm) because it is a Nationally Televised game on ESPN.
The Lakers are not very good. (Don’t try to convince yourself they are.) They missed the playoffs last year and are off to a poor start again. (If the playoffs started tomorrow, they’d be out 13/15) But they have Lebron James, Mr. Space Jam himself, and Anthony Davis who is one of the better examples of a player in professional sports who can dominate a game when he chooses too. Former head Bucks assistant Darvin Ham is their head coach. Of course he is doing his best but the Lakers simply don’t have the talent or drive that the Bucks do.
We all have opinions on Lebron. No matter what we perceive or believe, he will (unless he suffers a major injury) go down as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, breaking former Buck Kareen Abdul-Jabar’s record. The “Jerry Jones” picture drama is nothing more than that: self-inflicted drama.
Vegas has the Bucks as 8 point favorites. Oddly enough this has the feel of a Lions vs Packers game in late November where, if the Packers jump out to an early lead, it gets real ugly. If the Bucks are up by 10+ at half, this game could get real ugly for the Lakers. (Take the points) And even Lebron has an opinion on that!
Keys for the Bucks
Keep Playing “Fearless”
Brook Lopez is in attack mode; so is Giannis. Bobby Portis looks more and more comfortable shooting the 3 everyday. The Lakers simply do not have anyone to match-up against Giannis and they definitely don’t have a good defender for Bobby or Brook. If they attack and play fearlessly, the Bucks should roll.
Bobby Portis has pedestrian numbers, career-wise, vs the Lakers. (9/6/2) He’ll need to play better and bigger tonight. Brook Lopez is the opposite. He has awesome career numbers vs LA (20/9/2). Expect that to continue for “splash mountain”.
Rebound the ball
Similar to the previous “key”, the Bucks need to continue this all-world domination on rebounding the ball. They are still first overall in team rebounding (48.8 boards per game) and are holding on to that title by a smidge over Memphis (48.7 per game). When the Bucks out rebound their opponent they win.
The Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers
What’s wrong with the Lakers? Why isn’t this working? Well, it did for a season. In 2019-2020 the Lakers won the championship in the infamous Walt Disney World “bubble”. After March 10,2020 in order to save their season, the NBA took the top 22 teams and tried to finish it all up. In that season Anthony Davis led the team in scoring (26.2 points a game) and Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Dion Waiters, Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope provided an excellent complement to Lebron and Davis.
So do those five guys Kuzma, Caruso etc really make THAT big a difference? Along with declining play from James and Davis and adding Russel Westbrook, yes it has. The Lakers simply lack depth. If AD and Lebron get tired-they will- then the Lakers will lose steam.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Giannis and Serge Ibaka have a cooking show? (Hopefully the link works)
- The Bucks have an all-time record of 342-282 with Khris Middleton.
- Khris Middleton’s legal first name is James.
- No expansion team in pro sports history earned a championship quicker than the Bucks, who captured the 1971 NBA title in just their third season of existence.
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