The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their three-game losing streak against the weakened LA Lakers in their last game, while the Portland Trail Blazers continued their winning ways against the Detroit Pistons in their last outing.
The Bucks were the runaway winners in the only encounter between the two sides earlier in the campaign. The Blazers will look to avenge that defeat this time out.
Fixture: Milwaukee Bucks vs Portland Trail Blazers | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, April 2, 2021; 10:00 PM ET (Saturday, April 3rd, 7:30 AM IST).
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
The Milwaukee Bucks have struggled massively in recent weeks, but a 112-97 win against the Lakers has now got them in the right spirits ahead of a tough matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday were the star performers of the night for the Bucks. The former scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while the latter had 28 points and eight rebounds.
The Milwaukee Bucks struggled initially in the game against the Lakers but put up a solid performance in the second quarter, outscoring them 33-19 in that stretch.
The lead proved to be vital concerning the outcome of the game, which helped the Bucks get back to winning ways and improved their record to 30-17 for the season.
Key Player - Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday has been a great addition to the Milwaukee Bucks side, providing the likes of Khris Middleton and Giannis some valuable support throughout the course of the season. This is the reason he was signed in the first place.
Not only has he completed that objective, but he has also become a key player for them in recent weeks, leading them to wins with his phenomenal all-round performances.
Along with carrying out his role as floor-general of the team, Holiday's main challenge will be guarding his counterpart Damian Lillard in this game and reducing his threat as much as possible.
Lillard has been in red-hot form for the Portland Trail Blazers this season. If he is kept quiet for large portions of the match, the Bucks could be on their way to registering their second consecutive win on the road.
Point Guard - Jrue Holiday l Shooting Guard - Donte DiVincenzo l Small Forward - Khris Middleton l Power Forward - Giannis Antetokounmpo l Center - Brook Lopez.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers are starting to look dangerous with each game, and the last one was no exception.
They decimated the Pistons 124-101 in their last outing, as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 67 points on the night to help their team win their fourth game on the bounce.
The Blazers started the game on a rather dismal note defensively as they allowed the Pistons to score 33 points in the first quarter.
However, the Blazers made good progress after that, dismantling Jerami Grant and his team in the second half. Portland outscored Detroit 73-49 during that period.
Key Player - Jusuf Nurkic
Jusuf Nurkic recently made his comeback to the Portland Trail Blazers lineup but hasn't quite hit the ground running since.
The Blazers will need him to be at his best, though, as the Bucks have players like Giannis and Brook Lopez who are a force to be reckoned with inside the paint.
With the Bucks firing on all cylinders in the last game, it will be important for Nurkic to play a huge role for his side. This will take some pressure off the likes of Lillard and McCollum, who the Portland Trail Blazers have been heavily reliant on.
Point Guard - Damian Lillard l Shooting Guard - CJ McCollum l Small Forward - Norman Powell l Power Forward - Robert Covington l Center - Jusuf Nurkic.
Bucks vs Blazers Match Prediction
The winner of this match is anyone's pick. But going by recent results, the Portland Trail Blazers appear to be in better form as they have registered four wins heading into this match.
This does make them the favorites by a slender margin. However, the Milwaukee Bucks possess a lot of firepower and shouldn't be counted out just yet.
Where to watch Bucks vs Blazers?
The game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Portland Trail Blazers will be televised locally on NBC Sports Northwest and Bally Sports Wisconsin. Fans can also live stream the game via the NBA League Pass.