The Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks will play on Thursday night. For the Bucks, it is the final game of their six-game West Coast swing. After opening the trip with a loss to the Clippers, they won three in row against the Lakers, Blazers, and Kings. The nearly won a fourth straight game against the Warriors, but blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead to lose 122-121. A win tonight will give the Bucks a rare winning road trip out West, while a loss would lead to an also rare .500 trip.
The big question surrounding the Bucks right now is the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He sprained his knee late in March and has missed some games, including the loss to Golden State. When asked about the injury, head coach Mike Budenholzer stated that he does not believe it is a very concerning issue. However, the team is being cautious going forward. Below is his statement to Eric Nehm of The Athletic:
I followed up by asking if there was a larger level of concern considering he will now miss two straight games and four of the Bucks' last nine.
Budenholzer's response: pic.twitter.com/A4btYCdYH0
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) April 7, 2021
Several reports hypothesize that Giannis will be available for most games, but will likely sit out in the second game of back-to-backs. In any case, it is vital for the Bucks to have Giannis healthy down the stretch. Not only for the playoffs, but for two games coming up against each team above them in them in the Eastern Conference standings.
Jrue Holiday: A Buck for Life
Earlier this past week, Jrue Holiday signed a four-year $160 million extension to stay with the Bucks. He has certainly been playing like he wants to stay, and many consider him the Bucks’ second option behind Giannis. Over his past 10 games, Holiday is averaging 23.9 points, 7.0 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game. In addition, he is currently second in the NBA is steals per game.
Watch Out for Luca
The Dallas Mavericks are coming off an embarrassing loss to the woeful Houston Rockets. They will want to bounce-back against a quality opponent in the Milwaukee Bucks. Luca Doncic is putting together a monster season. He is averaging 28.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game. The Bucks will be without PJ Tucker again, so it will likely fall to Jrue Holiday to try to slow down the young star. If the Bucks can contain Luca, they will likely win the game.
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