The Bucks fell in Sacramento last night, and things do not get any easier as they continue their road trip out west. Tonight’s matchup has them in the Pacific Northwest against the surging Portland Trailblazers.
Portland is looking to extend their longest home winning streak in nearly a year. During this strand of games, they haven’t been relying on their scoring output as much, but rather their strong defense.
However, that doesn’t mean that their offense is missing in action. Both Damian Lillard and lead candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year C.J. McCollum are averaging career highs in the points category, scoring 24.2 and 20.7 points per game, respectively. The pair both put up 21 in a victory over the Timberwolves on Sunday night.
Going back to the Blazers’ win streak, they are attempting to win five in a row at the Rose Garden for the first time since Feb. 25 – Mar. 13. The Bucks have unable to find any recent success there, having only won two of their last nine meetings in Portland.
A combination of both poor defense and shooting has the Bucks on a skid where they’ve dropped five of their last six games, including four straight on the road. During the slump, their defense is allowing 108.0 points per game and the offense is shooting 39.5 percent from deep.
Head coach Jason Kidd believes the necessary changes can be made however, saying they’re always in a position to win games on the road but its just a matter of making the correct plays down the stretch.
Khris Middleton continues to be the workhorse for the Bucks on offense. The shooting guard enters this matchup with 23 total points in two games, going 8-for-31 from the floor and 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.