Both sides are heavyweights in their conferences and will be locking horns for the second time this season. The LA Lakers emerged victorious in their first matchup of the season behind LeBron James' 34 point outing.
This time around, the LA Lakers will be without James and Anthony Davis on the court. However, the Purple and Gold are set to feature their newest acquisition and 4x rebounding champ Andre Drummond in this fixture.
The former Cavaliers big man will be eager to start things off with a bang and could potentially be the deciding factor in this tie.
Despite being severely shorthanded, the LA Lakers won their last two games, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers comfortably en route to a three-point win against the Orlando Magic in their previous matchup.
With those two wins, the reigning champs are holding steady at the 4th spot in the Western Conference with a 30-17 record.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks faced some turbulence in their recent stretch and will be eager to get back on the winning track. Giannis Antetokounmpo and co. are coming off three disappointing results against three playoff hopefuls in the Celtics, the Knicks and most recently the LA Clippers.
The Milwaukee Bucks are now 2.5 games behind the Brooklyn Nets, resting in 3rd place in the East with a 29-17 record behind them.
Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers - Prediction
The LA Lakers did manage to win their last two outings but face a whole different challenge in this matchup as they are up against a top-tier team in the association.
Nevertheless, armed with one of the best centers in the game, the LA Lakers have a decent chance of keeping their winning streak alive by beating the Milwaukee Bucks at home.
For LA to take this one, the team will need to focus more energy on the defensive end of the hardwood. Watch out for Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell to offer big outings for the LA Lakers.
On the other end, the Milwaukee Bucks can't afford to keep losing more games with the season inching closer to the playoffs. Coach Budenholzer will undoubtedly get his men riled up for this marquee matchup as they attempt to take down their counterparts with a blowout victory.
The reigning league MVP is due for a monster performance and tonight could be the night he produces a big winning presentation for the Milwaukee Bucks. On that note, we predict the Milwaukee Bucks will be the winners of this matchup.
Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Lakers - Combined 5
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder l Shooting Guard - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope l Small Forward - Khris Middleton l Power Forward - Giannis Antetokounmpo l Center - Andre Drummond
Let's take a look at the hypothetical combined 5 for the game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers. While the game will miss two superstar talents in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it will still feature some great players that are sure to make this battle an entertaining affair.
LA Lakers' Dennis Schroder will come in at the point guard position on our list. He has elevated his game since LBJ and AD were sidelined due to injury. Schroder is averaging 17.8 points in March while dishing out 6.5 assists per game.
He has been the third-highest scorer on the LA Lakers squad this season and the team will rely on him to play a big role in the postseason for a successful title defense campaign.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will join Schroder on the backcourt in our combined 5 list for the game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers. It's no secret that KCP is having a tough time scoring the ball for the LA Lakers this season.
Nevertheless, he remains a vital part of their lineup and could repeat the magic from the 2020 playoffs where he was a high-impact player for the defending champs.
This season, KCP is averaging 8.2 points on 42.1% shooting from the field. He is also dishing out 1.5 assists per game while also collecting 2.4 rebounds in 43 appearances thus far.
2021 All-Star Khris Middleton is arguably one of the most underrated players in the NBA. He has an all-around game that helps him make an impact on both ends of the hardwood for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The 9th year guard is having a good season for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 20.4 points on a 49.2% shooting display from the field. In addition to his scoring, Middleton is also averaging six assists, five boards and one steal per contest.
At 6 foot 7 inches, he can play both the small forward and the shooting guard position when the situation demands it. For the Milwaukee Bucks to have a deep run in the upcoming playoffs will require Khris Middleton to be on top of his game.
Entering our list of hypothetical combined 5 at the power forward position is none other than 2x NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 'Greek Freak' is a generational talent who has bright prospects for his future in the league.
He has been the driving force behind the Bucks' resurgence in the second half of the season. Giannis probably won't win the MVP title this campaign, however, he is nevertheless playing like one.
In 43 games for the Milwaukee Bucks, Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 6.3 assists on an efficient 55.6% shooting from the field. The only area where Giannis has room for improvement remains with his sub-par shooting display from the charity stripe, where is currently clocking 67% accuracy.
The biggest storyline for this matchup is embodied by the last member to join our list in Andre Drummond. He is a key addition to the LA Lakers' squad that has been struggling to match up with opposing teams in the post.
Drummond is a beast on the boards, averaging a whopping 13.5 rebounds while also averaging 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks in 25 appearances (with the Cavaliers) thus far into the season.
The 2x All-Star can also contribute as a reliable scorer, as he is averaging 17.5 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field. With all due respect to Marc Gasol, he is nowhere close to his former glory days in the NBA and has become a liability for the reigning champs.
Now, with Drummond set to feature as their primary center the rest of the way, the LA Lakers have added a new dimension to their game. Andre can use his size and athleticism to roll to the rim for the lob pass on the offensive end. He can also close down open lanes to the bucket with his size and blocking prowess on the defensive end.