The Detroit Pistons will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday in what is the third matchup already between these two sides in the 2020-21 NBA season. In both encounters, the Bucks came out comfortable winners and are beginning to show the consistency in offense that will help them dominate the East this year.
On Monday evening, the Milwaukee Bucks ran the Orlando Magic out of their own gym with the support of their bench scorers. Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons had a mixed back-to-back at the weekend in which they shone in an overtime win over the Phoenix Suns then suffered after a sluggish start against the Utah Jazz the next night.
The Bucks are expected to win this matchup again, with Pistons fans hoping their side can at least put up a stronger fight after a 3-day rest.
Fixture: Milwaukee Bucks vs Detroit Pistons.
Date & Time: Wednesday, January 13, 7:00 PM ET.
Venue: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
Check out the complete 2020-21 NBA Schedule here.
Milwaukee Bucks Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks are beginning to show why they are favorites to top the Eastern Conference this season. Having won 5 of their last 6, the Bucks have a 7-4 record and the best offensive efficiency rating in the league.
Each of the Bucks' wins has been by ten points or more as they suffocate inferior opposition. Khris Middleton has, so far, averaged career-high points and new guard Jrue Holiday has shown his defensive prowess with 2.1 steals per game.
Despite their positive start, coach Budenholzer will want to address the fact that 3 of the Milwaukee Bucks' losses have come against playoff-caliber sides in the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Utah Jazz.
Milwaukee's defense sits 7th in the league and is on target to repeat the feat of best in the NBA. However, their fans will be wary of their side's postseason demons by being unable to overcome the toughest opposition throughout a 7-game series.
Key Player - Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best all-rounders in the NBA and is currently on course to compete for a historic three-peat of MVP trophies. The Greek Forward is averaging 26.6 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists while coach Budenholzer has been careful to manage the superstar's minutes.
Now that the Bucks front office have improved the roster around Giannis, the reigning MVP has less responsibility on offense. Of course, teams are still double-teaming Antetokounmpo. But with the Milwaukee Bucks' new offensive system, his teammates are getting more open looks and rank fifth in the league for 3-pointers attempted.
Giannis is still one of the league's elite defenders and is currently averaging 1.2 steals and a block per game. If the Bucks are to succeed in this year's playoffs, Antetokounmpo will have to continue his MVP-calibre performances and hope the Bucks roster follow suit.
Milwaukee Bucks' Predicted Lineup
G Jrue Holiday, G Donte DiVincenzo, F Giannis Antetokounmpo, F Khris Middleton, C Brook Lopez
Detroit Pistons Preview
The Detroit Pistons are not in a good place right now, as was predicted given the turnover at the franchise during the offseason. This year was projected to be developmental, which their 2-8 start to the 2020-21 NBA season would suggest.
Unfortunately, the Detroit Pistons haven't been good enough on either end of the floor. They rank inside the bottom-6 of the league for both offensive and defensive efficiency and have lacked the star quality of an inconsistent Blake Griffin. Furthermore, their promising new point guard, Killian Hayes, has been ruled out for the rest of his rookie season with a hip injury.
Still, it hasn't been all doom and gloom for the team sat bottom of the East. Jerami Grant is averaging career-high numbers and is on course to be the league's most improved player. Rookie Saddiq Bey has also impressed after falling to 19th in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Key Player - Jerami Grant
As mentioned, the Detroit Pistons small forward, Jerami Grant, has been on fire so far this season. Grant is averaging career-high numbers across the board in points, rebounds and assists, without which the Pistons offense would be floundering even more so than it currently is.
Prior to joining the Detroit Pistons this term, Grant had mostly been a role player apart from the 2018-19 season he spent in Oklahoma.
Moving to Small Forward to facilitate team leader Blake Griffin has helped Grant and has led to him being the Detroit Pistons' most aggressive threat.
Grant is attempting far more field goals than before and is getting to the line on more than double the occasions he did last year.
Detroit Pistons Predicted Lineup
G Josh Jackson, G Delon Wright, F Blake Griffin, F Jerami Grant, C Mason Plumlee
Milwaukee Bucks vs Detroit Pistons prediction
There will be mismatches all over the court in this game and Milwaukee's superiority will shine through. The Bucks are likely to have the match settled by the 4th quarter and could afford their stars some rest.
In the two sides' matchups already this season, the Milwaukee Bucks scored 255 points over the Detroit Pistons, therefore we can expect a high-scoring affair.
Where to watch the Milwaukee Bucks vs Detroit Pistons matchup?
In the USA, the fixture will be shown on the FoxSports local networks. For international fans, the game can be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.Published 13 Jan 2021, 02:02 IST