Tonight marks the Bucks’ third home game played at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. For every home game there has been, an energetic fervor has come with it. The Bucks opened up their season with their first home opener in 31 years. Two days later, Giannis Antetokounmpo made his season debut in front of an electric crowd. Now it’s Jabari Parker’s turn, as he takes the court tonight for the first time since he tore his ACL last December.
Jabari Parker will definitely be the storyline of the night. Being the team’s no. 2 overall draft pick, Milwaukee views him as one of their franchise players and cornerstone pieces in bringing a championship back to southeastern Wisconsin. Tonight will definitely be an emotional night for the second-year player out of Duke. The Bucks will be thoroughly conservative as they play Parker, as Jason Kidd says that they plan to only use him for about 15-20 minutes of the game and that they are unsure if he will play in back-to-back games. One thing is for certain though, the Bradley Center will be absolutely rocking as he makes his comeback debut tonight.
As for the Bucks themselves, they are coming off their first victory of the season last game, as they defeated the Brooklyn Nets by a score of 103-96. Milwaukee was led by Jerryd Bayless, who knocked down six three-pointers en route to a 26 point performance. Greg Monroe continued to assert his dominance, as he finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds on only 14 shots, an impressive stat line to say the least. The Bucks will look to extend their win streak to two games tonight by defeating the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Bucks will be without Michael Carter-Williams, as he is sitting tonight out with a sprained left ankle. It will be intriguing to see how Jason Kidd will decide to utilize his backcourt, as he has a variety of options at his disposal. One of those choices could be inserting Jerryd Bayless into the starting lineup. Bayless is coming off his impressive 26 point performance in Brooklyn the other night. Another option that Kidd may consider is rolling with Greivis Vasquez at point. However, if you take a look at Vasquez’s stats so far with Milwaukee, that doesn’t look like the safest bet on paper. The Venezuelan is only averaging a field goal percentage of 21.4% and is beyond cold from three-point land. He is shooting an abysmal 2-18 from downtown in the first four games the Bucks have played this season. With the Bucks spacing issues, knocking down three-pointers is a huge asset in their offensive system. On the contrary, Jerryd Bayless has shown a hot hand on his three-point stroke, as he knocked down six threes in the victory over the Nets.
It will be another thin night for the Bucks’ bench as well, as both O.J. Mayo (hamstring) and John Henson (achilles) are both unable to play tonight. That will mean contributions are key from rookie Rashad Vaughn, as well as veteran forward Chris Copeland. A few shots from deep tonight would be a great spark to provide this offense and to set a rhythm to progress throughout the game.
As for the opponent in the 76ers, it will be a matchup between two of the youngest teams in the NBA. The two players to keep an eye out for are Nik Stauskas and rookie Jahlil Okafor. Both hold the ability to get hot on the offensive side of the ball. Okafor versus Greg Monroe down low will be an intriguing matchup. Okafor is acclimating more and more to the NBA game flow and is adapting his characteristics as he learns more about what he can do and about his position. The big man from Duke scored a game-high of 24 points Monday evening against the Cavaliers, a game in which Philadelphia only lost by seven, 107-100. It will be vital for Greg Monroe to frustrate Okafor early and use his veteran craftsmanship to garner fouls on the young rookie. If the opposite happens and the Bucks have to look to their bench to replace a foul troubled Monroe, it may spell out dominance for Okafor, considering Milwaukee is without Henson for the second straight game.
On a somewhat nostalgic note, point guard Kendall Marshall is making his return to Milwaukee tonight as well. Marshall was a fan favorite in Milwaukee during his one-year stint last season with the Bucks. Unfortunately his campaign was cut short when he tore his ACL in the Bucks-Knicks game across the pond in London. His injury occurred roughly a month after Jabari’s, so his debut won’t likely occur until later this month.
Philadelphia 76ers (0-3, 0-1 Away) vs Milwaukee Bucks (1-3, 0-2 Home)
November 4, 2015
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI
Fox Sports Wisconsin | AM 620 WTMJ
Philadelphia 76ers Milwaukee Bucks
Isaiah Cannan PG Jerryd Bayless
Nik Stauskas SG Khris Middleton
Hollis Thompson SF Giannis Antetokounmpo
Nerlens Noel PF Jabari Parker
Jahlil Okafor C Greg Monroe