Happy Halloween, Bucks Nation!
Although it may just be six games into the year, this Milwaukee squad is off to a scary good start at 4-2, with the only losses being to Cleveland and Boston. This has been possible due to the unreal beginning for the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has shown himself as the consensus early-season MVP leader. However, there are some possibly frightening matchups coming up in the next week for the Bucks, so take a look (if you dare).
10/31: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The season’s seventh game for Milwaukee brings their fifth that will be played in the Cream City. This will be their last home game until November 11th, so the Bucks will look to really head on the road on a high note with a big win against a new-look Thunder squad. However, the three-headed monster of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony stand in their way. If the Bucks can minimize the impact of OKC’s Big 3 and players such as Tony Snell and Thon Maker really come to play, they could escape Milwaukee with a win.
Matchup to Watch: Giannis vs. Westbrook/Anthony/George
11/1: at Charlotte Hornets
The back half of Milwaukee’s first of nine back-to-back sets this year in different cities, the Bucks head to the Tar Heel State to take on the Charlotte Hornets. A team that stands at 4-3 as of writing, the Hornets are led by the solid backcourt of Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb. However, that is not their only calling card. With offseason acquisition Dwight Howard seemingly back to his monster rebounding days of old, he is having his best start to a season in years (13.7 PPG, 14.9 RPG, 1.7 BPG). However, one of the most surprising faces on the Hornets is Wisconsin alum, Frank Kaminsky. Averaging 13.3 PPG, primarily off the bench, Kaminsky dropped 18 points in Charlotte’s 103-94 loss to Milwaukee last Monday. If the Hornets are going to pull out a win in Buzz City, they will need performances like that and then some from guys like Kaminsky to take the load off of Walker and Howard.
Matchup to Watch: Malcolm Brogdon vs. Kemba Walker
11/3: at Detroit Pistons
For the first time this year, the Bucks will travel to the brand new Little Caesars Arena to take on the Detroit Pistons. Milwaukee is already all too familiar with Detroit this season, as they played them in the preseason, coming out on top in an exciting 107-103 affair. However, Milwaukee was beaten on the boards 50-41, due in part to a gaudy 22 rebounds, 9 of which came on the offensive glass by Andre Drummond. That trend has largely continued into the young regular season, as Milwaukee has been outrebounded in all but two of their six games this season (at Boston and Sunday against Atlanta; both wins). To increase their winning chances, the Bucks’ big men need to keep Drummond off the glass as much as possible, but also keep an eye out for Avery Bradley, who is off to a hot start of 15.4 points per game and has found himself somewhat in the Most Improved Player conversation early on in 2017/18.
Matchup to Watch: Maker/Henson vs. Andre Drummond
Greg Monroe missed Sunday’s road tilt against the Atlanta Hawks due to left calf soreness, an injury which coach Jason Kidd told reporters after the game would keep the big man out of action for approximately two weeks.
Vs. Oklahoma City: 112-105 L
At Charlotte: 101-92 W
At Detroit: 97-91 W