“There is a game tonight?”
Bucks play Indiana tonight and Boston Tomorrow
The 54-21 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 33-43 Indiana Pacers on the road in downtown Indianapolis at the GainBridge Fieldhouse . The Bucks are 24-14 away from the Fiserv forum and the Pacers are 19-18 at home. Milwaukee took one “on the chin” from Indiana a few weeks ago. That was more “proof positive” that the other team plays to win too.
Indiana is 12th in the Eastern Conference and would not make theh playoffs if they were held tomorrow. They have experienced an injury-riddled season and it is unlikely that Myles Turner, Tyrese Haliburton and others will play tonight. Of course, Indiana still has TJ McConnell. The “Bucks Killer” has done well against Milwaukee this year.
This is the last time these teams will play this year. Milwaukee won game one and game two; Indiana won game three.
No more than 14 total team turnovers
Against Detroit, without Jrue Holiday Milwaukee only had 8 turnovers. That is what needs to happen again tonight.
On Bucks Twitter sub-par guard play in Milwaukee has been a hot topic. However, Jrue Holiday had zero turnovers recently against Denver. Grayson Allen has done a good job this season defending and not turning the ball over. The Bucks need their guards to protect the ball.
Giannis had four turnovers against Denver. While that feels like a lot, for him, that is actually pretty low. And of course, there are still critics. Now, in Giannis’s defense sometimes that is a set, offensive play Coach Bud wants to run. But lately turnovers just kill this team. Against Detroit he didn’t play so, again zero turnovers.
As a team the Bucks are averaging 14.8 turnovers per game this season. That is not a terrible number and against Detroit, Milwaukee only had 8 turnovers! That is great!
In the dominating win against San Antonio the Bucks had 15 team turnovers. Bu the Spurs had 19. That is a turnover battle we need! Keep that number under 14.g
Get better play from the starters
When does Middleton return to the starting line-up? Is he officially back? Maybe we missed it but it seems like he is ready to start.
What Bucks Nation needs is a 24/5/5 game from him. Everyone would feel much better about it all.
Where has Grayson been lately? How about a big game from Lopez? The Bucks need some performances here from their starting five.
When you are the best, you are the best. The Bucks lead the NBA in team rebounding. (48.9 per game) Indiana is 24th in the NBA with 41.5 rebounds per game. If Milwaukee outrebounds Indiana here tonight, that is a huge advantage. When Indiana beat Milwaukee they were only out rebounded by a couple of boards. That needs to change.
The Opponent: The Indiana Pacers
For whatever reason the Pacers have played really well against the Bucks this season. TJ McConnel has had some lights out performances. Jordan Nwora and George Hill also seem to play well against their old team. Tyrese Haliburton is a very quick, dynamic player.
Halliburton, who was born in Oshkosh and attended Oshkosh North High school, was drafted 12th by the Kings in the 2020 draft. He leads the Pacers in scoring with 20.2 points per game. He also leads the team in assists (10.2 per game) and steals (1.8).
Bennedict Mathurin also played against the Bucks in game one. He didn’t play so hot (+/- 8). Mathurin (6th overall pick Arizona) is in the conversation for rookie of the year. He is averaging 17 points per game and has yet to seem to have hit that dreaded “NBA rookie wall”.
And again, the aforementioned TJ McConnel averages 23 points against the Bucks. To get that kind of production from a back-up PG is pretty impressive. Sometimes in sports you just have a guy’s number.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Giannis has averaged 25 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists in his career against the Pacers. Those are all well-below his career numbers and certainly much lower than his season averages.
- Milwaukee leads the all-time series 112-92.
- The Pacers were a founding member in the ABA, a competing league to the NBA. One of the things that led to the ABA’s downfall was the $3.2 million dollar membership fee that was charged from each team. That was in the 1970’s.
Reggie Miller was drafted by the Pacers in 1987. The exchange between him and Spike Lee in the NBA playoffs still is cemented in my memory.
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