Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks have been keeping pace with the Los Angeles Lakers as the two hottest teams in the league right now, but the Bucks have the chance to win their 11th straight game tonight as they host the Charlotte Hornets tonight at Fiserv Forum. The Bucks are first in the Eastern Conference with a 16-3 record and they are 7-1 at home.
The Charlotte Hornets would be matched up with the Bucks if the NBA playoffs started today. They have an 8-12 record, good enough for 8th in the East. The Hornets have won their last two games and they are 4-7 on the road. The Hornets have not fared well against conference opponents. They are 6-7 against Eastern Conference opponents heading into tonight’s game.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Channel: FSSE-CHA, FSWIS
Hornets: Cody Zeller (P)
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, George Hill, Eric Bledsoe (P), Brook Lopez, Sterling Brown, Thanasis Antetokounmpo (O)
Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup
The Charlotte Hornets have had back-to-back games against the Detroit Pistons heading into tonight’s game and they were able to string together two straight wins, however they didn’t come easy, as they won by one point on Wednesday 102-101 and by three in a 110-107 win last night.
The Hornets trot out a very young lineup, but they like the veteran savvy they get from Bismack Biyombo, who had 13 points and nine rebounds last night.
“Protecting the paint, more rim protection, just more urgency, his defensive presence overall,” Borrego said about what Biyombo provides the team.
Rookie PJ Washington and sophomore Devonte’ Graham have been solid and have given Hornets fans reason to be excited. Washington had 26 points last night, and Graham finished with 16 points and eight assists. Graham had 16 points, 15 assists, and seven rebounds on Wednesday to end the Hornets’ skid.
Terry Rozier had 23 points and Miles Bridges had 16 points in the win last night. While head coach James Borrego didn’t rest his starters in the first game of a back-to-back last night, most of his time is rather young, so they should be ok tonight, although defending the Bucks will be another test itself.
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
The Milwaukee Bucks have not experienced a loss since a 103-100 loss to the Utah Jazz on November 8, which they’ve since avenged.
“It’s always fun to win,” Bucks guard George Hill said to FOX Sports Milwaukee following Friday’s game. “We got to work every day to compete at a high level, play together, and it’s showing.”
Hill and the Bucks bested the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-110 last night as six of their players scored in double figures.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 33 points and 12 rebounds and Hill came off the bench for 18 points. Eric Bledsoe, Donte DiVencenzo, Khris Middleton and Ersan Ilyasova also scored 10 or more points.
Only Giannis played more than 30 minutes, so the Bucks should be well-rested as former Spurs assistants Mike Budenholzer and James Borrego face off.
Key Player Matchups
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. PJ Washington
With several key players still playing limited minutes off the bench as they return from injury, the only real key matchup is between the Greek Freak and the rookie. Washington has been fun to watch and he is capable of playing inside and shooting outside to try to keep Giannis from guessing, but Washington has likely his toughest lineup of the season in Giannis.
Giannis is the lone fantasy stud in tonight’s matchup with a FanDuel salary of $11.8k and a whopping projection of 66.08 fantasy points. That’s not far fetched either, with everything Giannis brings on both ends of the floor.
PJ Washington is a nic value pickup with a $4.6k salary and a 23.17 point projection. Eric Bledsoe also falls in this camp. He is available for just $6.6k and is projected for 37.95 points.
Bet on Matchup
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