Another game against the Golden State Warriors, and another game that took the years off of Bucks fans lives. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, this game didn’t finish the same it did a few days prior, as the Warriors escaped with a nine-point victory.
Like they did in the game in which they ended the streak, the Bucks played a game filled with hustle and a determination to win. However, like many circumstances this season, they were unable to play a complete game and finish all four quarters. It ended up resulting in Golden State storming back and taking the and eventually, the ball game.
The four-game West Coast road trip winds down tonight, as the Bucks make their first and only trip to Phoenix to take on the Suns. The Suns currently sit at 12-16 and in the middle of the pack in the Pacific standings.
We all remember the Bucks’ single trip to the desert last season, for both good and bad reasons; but mostly bad. It was the game in which Khris Middleton hit his miraculous game-winning shot that went around the cylinder a million times before falling in. However, it was also the dreadful night that Jabari Parker went down with a season-ending knee injury by tearing his ACL. It’s incredible to think that Parker is already back and playing with the exerting force he is.
The Suns are defined by their backcourt play of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. Yes, today marks the first time the Bucks play against their old teammate after trading him to Phoenix at last season’s trade deadline. Knight seems to have found his niche in Phoenix, as he’s averaging 19.1 points per game along with 5.1 assists.
Eric Bledsoe is known for his ability to get hot, and he very well may exhibit that tonight. The Suns point guard leads the team in scoring with 22 points per game and a capability of both scoring buckets both inside and outside of the paint. The Bucks will need to limit as many opportunities for him as possible.
As for the Bucks, there should only be one thing on the game plan outside of obviously winning. They need to show that they can play a full game with high energetic levels and have a will power to win. They’ve shown that in the last two games against the Warriors, but somehow lack it in games against teams like a four-win Lakers team. A win in Phoenix would be scraping off the best the Bucks can get, as they do not want to go 0-4 on the road trip.
Jason Kidd has noted on numerous occasions that this is a young team and they are learning. That’s exactly what this is. They need to learn to exhibit and hone in the mentality that they put out against the defending champs in each and every game. Once that mindset is discovered, this Bucks team may vault up the standings.