Los Angeles Clippers at Milwaukee Bucks
BMO Harris Bradley Center
5:00 p.m. PST
January 27, 2014
FOX Prime Ticket
1. Why the heck are the Bucks struggling so much this season?
Luke Laubhan, (@lukelaubhan): Milwaukee is a team in transition. Of the 14 Bucks who played the most minutes for the team in 2012-13, only four remain on the roster, and two of those, Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders, have been flummoxed by injuries. Throw in the team’s third coach in 13 months, plus a handful of young players who might or might not be great, and the result is underwhelming.
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): Brandon Knight is their leading scorer; Caron Butler is an integral part of the offense; Larry Sanders has missed over half the season; there is no consistency with their lineups; they don’t have any top-end talent; I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.
Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksketball (@Bucksketball): Milwaukee dealt with a lot of injuries early in the season and Larry Drew never really seemed to establish what sort of team he wanted Milwaukee to be. Thus far, there’s been numerous complaints about identity, rotations and effort. He spent years with the same core in Atlanta, so he’s never dealt with a situation like this, with so many new players trying to figure him and his system out.
The team’s also trying to fit Brandon Knight into a point guard position that doesn’t quite suit him and figure out what’s the best way to get Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders and John Henson playing time.
2. You can start a franchise with either Larry Sanders, John Henson, or Giannis Antetokounmpo. Who’s your pick?
Laubhan: None of these choices leave me feeling warm and tingly. If I started with Sanders, I’d be holding my breath waiting for next the 3AM phone call telling me my franchise guy did something sad. I like John Henson – he’s a true double-double guy – but I need more from a bedrock player. I’ll take Giannis and hope he develops into the player we all want him to be. Freak me, baby!
Buha: Giannis, because this.
Schmidt: Giannis seems to have the most potential, while Henson has been the most productive and Sanders the best defender. But I’ll take Giannis, for the unknown is always most appealing to me as a Bucks fan. He could be something that surpasses the other two and he’s the only one who can defend multiple positions and create offense for other people.
3. Over/under 29.5 points for Blake Griffin.
Laubhan: Blake’s only scored 30-plus points in consecutive games once this season (35 vs. the Blazers followed by 40 vs. the Jazz). He’s only exceeded 29 points in three of his last nine games, including two days ago in Toronto. It’s the last game of an 11-day, 7-game roadtrip – the tank might be running a little low. But…we’re seeing something new from Griffin these days, something awesome. I say ‘over.’
Buha: Under. I expect this game to be a blowout, so Blake probably won’t play more than 25 minutes or so. That being said, I think he’ll still be in the 24-to-25-point range.
Schmidt: Under. He won’t play long enough. Over 10 for Ryan Hollins though.