This game has all the markings of a possible “trap” game for the Bucks.
Bucks vs Spurs Preview- “Look out! It’s a trap!”
The 51-20 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 19-53 San Antonio Spurs at home in a game that features the best team in the NBA and the worst team. The game is at home at the “beer keg”, the Fiserv Forum, and downtown Milwaukee owes the game a passing interest because of the lackluster opponent. The Bucks have finally had a few days off here and there after a stretch where they were constantly playing every other day.
The Bucks are 29-7 at home. The Spurs are 6-28 on the road. Milwaukee is an 18 point favorite. That is almost unheard of in an NBA game.
The Bucks are an experienced, veteran team. The Spurs are a team interested in rebuilding and are very young. Their top player (Keldon Johnson) just turned 23. They dealt another top player, Dejounte Murray, last season for multiple first round picks.
In game one of the two game season series the Spurs defeated the Bucks 111-93. In that game there was no Giannis, Jrue, or Khris, or Joe or, Crowder or Grayson. Jevon Carter led the Bucks with 21 points. If the Bucks go 0-2 to the Spurs that would be very surprising. The Bucks need to stick to all of those fundamentals: rebound, follow your shot and pass to the open man.
Keep winning the rebounding battle
Milwaukee is 1st in the NBA in team rebounding. Against Sacramento the Bucks only had 43 rebounds. At times it felt like the Kings were getting all of the offensive boards. Against Toronto Milwaukee only had 45 boards. While that isn’t cause for concern, with this team you really love to see them eclipse the 50 rebound number.
Milwaukee needs to control the glass and box out!
The Bucks continue to lead the NBA in gross-team rebounds per game (51.1). The Spurs traded Jakob Poeltl mid-season for a first round pick. Because of that they have not rebounded well.
The margin between second place is growing ( Memphis). If you can control the glass, you “win” the possession battle. By not allowing teams second shots, they score less.
Hit some threes
Milwaukee was a little flat in shooting the three against Toronto. They went 16-45 from behind the arc. (33%) For this game they need to shoot better from three. If Milwaukee makes around 20 threes: game, set, match.
The Opponent: The Spurs
Well, first of all this team and their season were cursed from the start. Remember Josh Primo? The Spurs drafted the 19 year old in the 2021 draft. He was accused (and released by the team) of showing his genitals nine different times to different Spurs employees. GROSS!
Second, in terms of the team, like OKC and Detroit and Houston, they are young. They also are, more than likely, “tanking”. Again, they started out decent with a 5-7 record and have since “cooled”. They are not particularly good at home. Greg Popovich is a legendary, amazing coach who gets the most out of his players. But even that is not enough.
The Spurs have two really good players in Keldon Johnson and Zach Collins. However, for tonight’s game they are both listed as doubtful.
Tre Jones should play. The former Duke guard averages a team high 6.3 assists. Devin Vassell will also probably play. The Florida State alum is averaging 18 points a game. As a former first round pick, the Spurs are “trying him out” to see if he is a piece for their future.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Remember David Robinson? The Admiral. The former #1 overall pick is alive and well and on Twitter @Davidtheadmiral
- Mike Budeholzer comes from the Popvich “coaching tree”. He spent 17 years as a Popovich assistant from 1996-2013.
- Greg Popovich is 73. He is a legendary wine drinker.
- The Spurs lead the all-time series 53-43.
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