The Bucks will match up against the Denver Nuggets for the second and final time this season tonight at the BMO Harris Bradley Center tonight. It has been a near disastrous month for the Milwaukee Bucks, as they are currently 6-9 in November with some blowout losses to go along with that record. Milwaukee will aim to end the month on somewhat of a high note by heading into the holiday season with a victory under their belt, but the irritant Nuggets will pose a threat.
Another inconsistent and disappointing game is what the Bucks are coming off of, seeking to improve on deficiencies from yesterday’s effort in Charlotte. In what has become the story of the year, Milwaukee failed to compete in an entire quarter. It usually has been the third quarter that has flustered the Bucks, but it was the second quarter that saw the offense go stale and lack the ability to even buy a basket. Nonetheless, it was another period that the Bucks saw a loss of momentum change from their side and swiftly turns right to the opponent.
In their last matchup with the Nuggets in Denver back on November 11, the Bucks were unable to keep the pedal to the metal, relinquishing a halftime lead into a third quarter that saw Milwaukee be outscored 34-16. It will remain one of the biggest priorities of the game for the Bucks to give it their all in every quarter of the game. Consistency is key, as without it, the Bucks seem to trail off and lose any energy that was previously brought forth in the game.
Looking at the Nuggets scouting report, they have lost seven of their last eight games and are currently riding a six game losing skid. Can the Bucks take advantage of this? We sure hope so. Granted, the Bucks have been on a slide of their own lately. Something has to give in this matchup, right? Similar to Milwaukee, Denver has a porous defense, allowing 103.7 points per game, and ranking 23rd in the league. Look for the Bucks to take advantage of this. Greg Monroe had a consistent outing yesterday in Charlotte for Milwaukee. Keep an eye on Moose going up against J.J. Hickson down low. He should be receiving plenty of opportunities down low on the block.
As was the case when they matched up earlier this season, Danilo Gallinari leads Denver in scoring with 17.7 points per game. The forward has the ability to hit shots from downtown, something the Bucks want no part of considering the Hornets hit an incredible 15 threes in yesterday’s matinee. Giannis Antetokounmpo will have to keep Gallinari in check, but not aim to play too hard of defense. Early fouls have been detrimental to Giannis this season, as without him on the floor, the Bucks offense falls to the ground like a lead balloon. In yesterday’s game, Antetokounmpo had to leave the floor early after picking up two fouls. Unfortunately this has become somewhat of a routine for Giannis, and its key for him to stay in the game, as the Bucks are clearly much better with him out on the floor.
Milwaukee will most likely try locking up the perimeter nice and snug in today’s matchup after the beat down they took from there in yesterday’s game. Expect crisp movement on defense and consistent rotation. This will allow hands to be in the faces of the shooters and contest each shot as it goes up, something that is needed when a team begins to find its stroke from deep. Is it likely that the Nuggets will be as hot as the Hornets from the three-point line? No, but proper procedures can still be taken to ensure that that kind of performance has a smaller opportunity of arising.
The Bucks are in dire need of a victory tonight. They currently sit at 6-11 and are currently two games below .500 for the month of November. A win would catapult them into the holiday season on somewhat of a bright note, and with the way the team has been playing lately; they’ll take any bright note they can get. It’s just up to them to make that bright note happen.