The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to a good start in the campaign with five wins from nine games so far. The Cavs are at the 7th position in the Eastern Conference, tied with their game rivals, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavaliers will aim to build on their 94-90 win against the Grizzlies in their previous fixture.
On the other end, the Milwaukee Bucks have not played at their best this season. The Bucks have managed to win games but require a lot more from their team to contend with the top sides in the East such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the red hot Indiana Pacers.
On the bright side, Bucks superstar and reigning league MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, has found his rhythm and is filling the stat sheet with big numbers.
Heading into this matchup, both teams enter with an identical record and will aim to improve their standing with a win.
Fixture: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Milwaukee Bucks - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, January 9th, 2021 8:00 PM ET. (Sunday 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Cleveland Cavaliers Preview
All is not well in Cleveland as they end their long road trip this Saturday in Milwaukee. The Cavs missed their leading scorers Collin Sexton and Darius Garland in their previous outing against the Grizzlies, although they managed to hold on for the victory 94-90.
As it now stands, Sexton may return to the floor for their matchup against Giannis and co. However, the Cavaliers will continue to miss Darius Garland, Dante Exum, Dylan Windler, and Kevin Love in their lineup.
On the bright side, Isaac Okoro, who made his return in their last game with Memphis, will suit up on Saturday. The rookie was instrumental in the win over the Grizzlies as he rose for a crucial block in the final moments of the game.
Key Player - Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond has been a beast on the boards this season for the Cavaliers, averaging 14 rebounds in nine games so far.
Drummond has also been productive on the offensive end, with an average of 17 points in 30 minutes. The big man is also leading his side in blocks with an average of 1.6 stops per appearance.
As Cleveland will be short-handed in this game, Andre Drummond will need to rise to the occasion and have one of his best games of the season to hold the Milwaukee Bucks in their tracks — a task easier said than done. Drummond will need to dig deep and play well on both ends of the floor in this matchup.
Cleveland Cavaliers Predicted Lineup
G Collin Sexton, G Isaac Okoro, F Cedi Osman, F Larry Nance Jr., C Andre Drummond
Milwaukee Bucks Preview
Despite the slow start to their season, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to have the best offensive rating in the NBA. This can be attributed to their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo's production from the floor on a nightly basis. Khris Middleton has also performed well in his vital role as the second option and will need to be consistent as the season unfolds.
Coming into this matchup, the Milwaukee Bucks need to separate themselves from sub-par opponents and launch a winning streak that will offer them momentum and raise morale around the camp. Milwaukee have five players scoring in double digits on the season.
Key Player - Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a generational talent and is a back-to-back league MVP. He has an all-around game that is powered by his versatility and athleticism. He will undoubtedly be the key player in this matchup and will look to keep the Cavaliers at bay as he adds another win to Milwaukee's record.
'The Greek Freak' is averaging 27.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in nine games this season. He is shooting lights out 52% from the field but has room for improvement from the deep, where he is at 26.7% at the moment.
Milwaukee Bucks Predicted Lineup
G Jrue Holiday, G Donte DiVincenzo, F Giannis Antetokounmpo, F Khris Middleton, C Brook Lopez
Cavaliers vs Bucks Match Prediction
With a short-handed Cavaliers playing in their last game of a gruesome road trip, the odds are certainly against them. The Cavs require nothing short of a miracle to win this game.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the heavy favorites to hold down the fort and add another win to their record on Saturday.
Where to watch Cavaliers vs Bucks?
Local coverage of the game will be available on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports Ohio. The game can also be live-streamed via the NBA League Pass.Published 09 Jan 2021, 21:49 IST