San Antonio Spurs (14-4) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (7-11)
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: AT&T Center
Broadcasts: TV – FS Wisconsin. Radio – AM-620
Looking to get a marquee road win against an elite team, the Milwaukee Bucks face Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are undefeated at home so far this season while the Bucks are 2-7 in away games
Probable Spurs Starters
G Tony Parker, 6-2, France
G Danny Green, 6-6, North Carolina
F Kawhi Leonard, 6-7, San Diego State
F LaMarcus Aldridge, 6-11, Texas
C Tim Duncan, 6-11, Wake Forest
What We Need To Know About The Spurs
After having a loud and attention getting offseason, signing all-star power-forward LeMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs have had a relatively quiet but explosive season, posting the second best record in the NBA at 14-4. They had a five-game winning streak before losing to the Chicago Bulls Monday night, in which Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, “We are not good offensively, and may not be until March.” In what they lack in offense so far this season they make up in defense being 13-1 in games where they hold their opponents to fewer than 100 points and first in league rankings in points against (89.8 per game) and defensive efficiency. With the addition of Aldridge, the constant of Tim Duncan and the emergence of a star player in Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs are back to having a lockdown defensive mentality. Along with the defense Leonard also leads the team in scoring with 22 points a game but their constant Tim Duncan is only averaging a mere 10 points a game. Another constant for the Spurs in years past that they are lacking is their perimeter shooting as Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, and Danny Green are averaging below two three-pointers made a game.
Probable Bucks Starters
G Jerryd Bayless, 6-3, Arizona
G O.J. Mayo, 6-5, Southern California
F Khris Middleton, 6-8, Texas A&M
F Giannis Antetokounmpo, 6-11, Greece
C Greg Monroe, 6-11, Georgetown
What We Need To Know About The Bucks
The month of November was not kind to the Bucks, let’s be blatant about it. To make matters worse Michael Carter-Williams has not played to anyone’s expectations including Jason Kidd who has benched him. They’ll look to try something different for now as Mayo and Bayless will get the start which many would think as unfathomable at the beginning of the season, with it now being December. They have failed to utilize a lot their players off the bench such as John Henson and Rashad Vaughn, both have looked impressive in the time they have played. With MCW and now Parker now on the bench it seems like those players probably be given even less opportunities, even though both of them looked impressive in that role against the Nuggets Monday. If there’s anything fans and the team itself needs, its patience. Let the chemistry build because all five should be starters are individually talented, along with their players on the bench.
Bucks Keys To Victory
Jerryd Bayless is a fantastic bench player posting the second best three-point scoring in the league, but that’s where he should be, the bench, not a starter because when he has started this season, he hasn’t been as impressive. The same goes for Mayo, and with both of them being the starting guards it is not going to look pretty against the Spurs and their perimeter defense. The Bucks have also had trouble scoring in general which doesn’t fare well against the Spurs first place defense. The Bucks do big men in Giannis and Monroe, even though that’s difficult to say when they are playing against Tim Duncan and LeMarcus Aldridge. If the Bucks want to say in this game Monroe will have to out rebound and outscore Duncan and possibly Aldridge. Aldridge has the size and shooting advantage over Giannis but Giannis will have to play to his strength which is his athleticism, ability to drive to the basket and his length on defense. The Spurs have trouble scoring as well especially shooting, so the Bucks will have to hit their long distance shots, which might be a problem since the shooting of Bayless and Mayo won’t be coming off the bench to give the Bucks that sparkplug.
Can the Bucks beat the second best team in the NBA with all their recent problems in a city where they haven’t won since 2008? It’s not impossible because anything can happen in the NBA and that’s what the mindset should be for the Bucks and the fans. Sit back and enjoy the game since the Bucks only play the Spurs twice this season and it’s a great opportunity to watch a great team who no one talks about play against the Bucks. It might not be pretty because of who is starting at guards but hopefully MCW and Jabari pick that up coming off the bench.