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Golden State Warriors vs Milwaukee Bucks: 3 key matchups that could determine their Christmas Day showdown

Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors
Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors
ANALYST
Modified 25 Dec 2020, 10:31 IST
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The Golden State Warriors will be heading to Wisconsin this Christmas to face off against the Milwaukee Bucks. This is just one of the exciting fixtures that will be taking place in this year's NBA Christmas Day games.

Check out the complete 2020-21 NBA schedule right here.

Both teams are 0-1 to start the season and will be looking to bounce back as a Christmas gift for their fans.

Between the two franchises, multiple offseason acquisitions were made. The Golden State Warriors hope to make it back to the NBA Finals, while the Bucks will be hoping to make it there for the first time since 1974.

The Golden State Warriors traded for Kelly Oubre Jr., who put up only six points and seven rebounds in the opener, but had two highlight-reel dunks and brought contagious energy to the defensive side of the floor. They also made a great draft pick in James Wiseman, who started at center in the first game and put up 19 points.

The Milwaukee Bucks, who are looking to win a championship with their superstar talent, Giannis Antetokounmpo, made a trade for Jrue Holiday this offseason.

Golden State Warriors vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Match Predictions: 3 key matchups to look out for

Every game in the NBA comes down to the key matchup between the star players, and this Christmas game battle will not be any different. This article will closely examine the three key matchups between the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks that will decide this game's outcome.

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#3 Andrew Wiggins vs. Khris Middleton

Milwaukee Bucks v Toronto Raptors - Game Three
Milwaukee Bucks v Toronto Raptors - Game Three

One of the more important matchups will be the battle of the small forwards between Andrew Wiggins and Khris Middleton.

Andrew Wiggins had a poor opening game against the Brooklyn Nets where he scored 13 points and went 4-for-16 from the field. Wiggins's biggest criticism has always been about his effort, but against the Nets, his effort was there. However, If the Warriors are to remain competitive in a season without Klay Thompsons, he will need to become a reliable second option for the Golden State Warriors.

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For Khris Middleton, he had a great opening season game. He put up 27 points and 14 rebounds in the loss against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. Middleton is supposed to be the number two to Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he did just that and more against the Celtics. If the Milwaukee Bucks' small forward can continue to maintain the level of play he showed in their opening game, he will not only win his matchup against Andrew Wiggins, but he will find himself in another All-Star Game.

#2 Giannis Antetokounmpo vs Eric Paschall

Houston Rockets v Milwaukee Bucks
Houston Rockets v Milwaukee Bucks

The next important matchup that will determine the Golden State Warriors' outcome with the Milwaukee Bucks is the power forward matchup between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Paschall.

Now it is clear that Giannis is the best player in this matchup, but for Paschall to impact the game and win this matchup, he will need to keep Giannis out of the paint and make him shoot mid-range jumpers and three-pointers.

The two-time MVP is just a 28.5 percent career three-pointer shooter. Eric Paschall will not have to do much on the offensive side, but if he can control Giannis, then the Golden State Warriors will likely win the game.

#1 Stephen Curry vs. Jrue Holiday

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Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors
Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry vs. Jrue Holiday in the point guard matchup will be the biggest matchup that has the most impact on this game's outcome. Stephen Curry is arguably the greatest shooter of all time, and his shot-making ability sets the tone and energy for how the Warriors play.

In the previous game, Curry struggled and shot just 33.3 percent from the field.

Jrue Holiday needs to keep Stephen Curry off the ball for most of the game and not let him catch fire from behind the arc.

However, aside from Jure Holiday's defense of Curry, he will also need to be the floor general and create space for the Bucks and Giannis. His pass-first mentality will be needed so that Giannis can be fed the ball on his cutting runs. If Holiday can manage to do both of these tasks, he will control the point guard matchup and put his team in a likely position to win on Christmas Day.


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Each of these three matchups could go either way, but the Milwaukee Bucks will have the edge and win two of three of the matchups, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Look for the Milwaukee Bucks to get their first win of the season against the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

ALSO READ: Golden State Warriors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Prediction & Match Preview - December 25th, 2020 | NBA Christmas Day 2020 (sportskeeda.com)

Published 25 Dec 2020, 10:31 IST
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