Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers (8-1) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (4-5)
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center
Broadcasts: TV – FS Wisconsin. Radio – AM-620
LeBron James comes to Milwaukee as the Bucks take on The Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bucks hope to snap a two game losing streak but they will face the best and most challenging team in the Eastern Conference as Cleveland has only lost once so far this season.
Probable Cavaliers Starters
G Mo Williams, 6-1, Alabama
G J.R. Smith, 6-6, St. Benedict’s Prep (New Jersey)
F LeBron James, 6-8, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio)
F Kevin Love, 6-8, UCLA
C Timofey Mozgov, 7-1, Russia
What We Need To Know About The Cavs
What is there that everyone doesn’t know? The Cleveland Cavaliers have the national spotlight on them due to a large part of them being the odds on favorite to win not only the Eastern Conference but the NBA Finals. A larger part is they have the best athlete in the world today, LeBron James; along with the shooting of Mo Williams, J.R. Smith, Richard Jefferson, Mathew Dellavedova, the size of Timofey Mozgov, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and the shooting and size combination of all-star Kevin Love. The Cavs are not at full strength even though they only have one loss as they are still without all-star point guard Kyrie Irving, and capable shooter Iman Shumpert. The Eastern Conference will go through Cleveland this season and it will probably be that way for at least the next five years.
Probable Bucks Starters
G Michael Carter-Williams, 6-6, Syracuse
G Khris Middleton, 6-8, Texas A&M
F Giannis Antetokounmpo, 6-11, Greece
F Jabari Parker, 6-8, Duke
C Greg Monroe, 6-11, Georgetown
What We Need To Know About The Bucks
The Bucks are slowly but surely getting healthier with the probable return of Michael Carter-Williams to the starting lineup tonight. This will help as the Bucks were lacking rebounding at the guard position and MCW scored 30 points against the Cavs in their last matchup April 8th of last season. They are also on a two game losing streak after winning four in a row and it was against two teams they should’ve beat; the Celtics in Milwaukee and the Nuggets in Denver. After the loses they currently sit at 4-5 which isn’t bad by any means being so early in the season but the statistics should be alarming to fans as they rank in the bottom ten to half of the league in points scored, points allowed, rebounds, and turnovers. Many things can be acquitted for these stats including injury, and it being so early in the season in terms of chemistry, since they had a slow start at the beginning of last season. It’s a work in progress but as the season goes on and get tested and humbled; the team will have more chemistry and produce.
Bucks Keys To Victory
LeBron will score and get his points. The fans and the Bucks must accept this fact because no one is going to stop him, but no matter how well of a game he plays he cannot win by himself. The Bucks must limit the Cavs’ second scoring option Kevin Love on the perimeter and the boards. They likewise have to do the same to Mo Williams and Jefferson off the bench. J.R. Smith shouldn’t be worried about too much because he either has a decent shooting night where he can contribute or he is plain awful missing all of his shots open or not. Of the starters, if the Bucks can limit any player that isn’t named LeBron in scoring they will have a shot at winning. This bodes the same in the rebounding which the Cavs have thrived and Milwaukee has struggled so far this season. MCW is returning which should give the Bucks a significant size and rebounding upgrade compared to the last week of play and the Bucks will need every single one of those rebounds from the guard position if they want to win. Love, Mozgov and Thompson are monsters on the boards and it’s likely two of those three players including LeBron will have more than five rebounds. Monroe and Henson will have to out muscle Mozgov, possibly Varejao and Thompson if the Bucks want to stay in the game. Lastly bench is key since the Cavs are not as deep as they would like to be right now. The Bucks’ bench must outshoot, outrebound and outscore Cleveland’s bench if they want a shot at winning.
Can the Bucks do all of this handing King James and Cleveland only their second loss of the season? I think so but even doing one of the keys mentioned before will be challenging as the Cavs have so many scoring options, bigs, and of course LeBron James. It will be a great test and possibly a look-ahead of what’s to come for these two teams in the future as Cleveland will be the team of the Eastern Conference for years to come, and Milwaukee is seeking to become that in the next couple years.