Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies Preview
Tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks will be on the road in Memphis as they take on the Grizzlies and look for their 17th straight win. The Bucks have been on an unbelievable tear, dominating teams through their red-hot streak. The Bucks enter tonight’s interconference matchup with a 22-3 record and first place in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee has also been excellent on the road, with a 10-2 record.
Memphis, meanwhile, is floundering around the bottom of the Western Conference, with a 8-16 record. They have won their last two games and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. The FedExForum hasn’t likely felt like home for the Grizzlies much this season as they have a 3-10 record at home. Tonight, the Grizzlies have their two young rookies that will be sidelined so they come in as an underdog.
This will be the first of the two-game season series between the Bucks and Grizzlies.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Channel: FSWIS, FSSE-MEM
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Q), Dragan Bender, Kyle Korver (O)
Grizzlies: Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke, Grayson Allen (O)
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
It was No Giannis, No Problem for the Milwaukee Bucks as they picked up their 16th consecutive win on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Bucks beat New Orleans 127-112 without the services of Giannis, who is questionable for tonight’s game.
Eric Bledsoe stepped up with 29 big points, and Khris Middleton had 24. Ersan Ilyasova stepped into the starting lineup for Giannis and had a season-high 18 points to go along with nine rebounds.
“I think we took a little bit more ownership of what’s going on out there,” Middleton said of he and Bledsoe. “When Giannis is out there, I mean, he draws such a huge crowd we play through him a lot. With him out tonight we know we’re just going to have to do a little bit more.”
The Bucks got out to an early lead, scoring 35 in the first quarter and limiting the Pelicans to just 20 points. They kept their lead through halftime, and although New Orleans tried to rally late, including a 40-point third quarter, they couldn’t stop the Bucks at the other end.
With Ilyasova moving off the bench, the Bucks looked to George Hill in the second unit, who came through with 13 points in just 19 minutes.
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
The Memphis Grizzlies have won their last two games, a 110-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors and a 115-108 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Ja Morant was limited to 13 points and fellow rookie Brandon Clarke had 15 off the bench, but the Grizzlies will be without both players tonight.
“I feel like we’re just playing the way we need to play honestly, what we’re capable of,” Morant recently said. “Being able to see the guys sitting out the first two on the road I just got to see what type of team we can be so I just try to come in and bring as much energy as I can, share the ball, give guys open looks. And I feel now everybody is locked into what we need to do.”
Tonight will certainly provide a much more difficult challenge for the Grizzlies than they have faced in their last two games, regardless if Giannis plays.
They’ll likely rely heavily on Jaren Jackson Jr and Dillon Brooks tonight, who both performed well against the Suns with 24 and 27 points respectively.
Key Player Matchups
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Jaren Jackson Jr.
While Jackson is a young, athletic power forward, defending Giannis is not the same as guarding any other power forward in the league. If he can try to force Giannis to force up mid-range jumpers, he may do well, but Giannis has been working on his jump shot, and stopping his penetration is a lot harder done than said.
Khris Middleton vs. Jae Crowder
Jae Crowder is an in your face perimeter defender, so he’ll try to limit Middleton from the type of performance he had against New Orleans and make him work much harder. While Crowder is mostly known for his defense, he’s also had to get it done offensively this season, and especially lately.
If he plays tonight, Giannis is the only real stud player in this matchup. He is available for $11.2k on FanDuel with a 44.1 point projection.
Khris Middleton is really toeing the lines of what I would consider a value player, but his points per $1k ratio of 5.25 makes him worth the $6.8k salary, and tonight he is projected for 35.7 points. Go with Jaren Jackson Jr. on Memphis’ roster. He has an even higher ratio of 6.06. His $6.2k salary is low for his projection of 37.6 points.
Bet on Matchup
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