Cleveland Cavaliers vs Milwaukee Bucks Preview and Predictions -12-14-2019
The Cavaliers played in San Antonio on Thursday night and will travel to Toronto for a game on Monday to conclude their three-game road swing. Meanwhile, Milwaukee will be playing this game on the second night of a back-to-back after taking on the Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday. The Bucks are tied for the best record in the NBA after winning 22 of its first 25 games and they lead the Eastern Conference standings by 3.5-games. Meanwhile, Cleveland is battling through another lost season after getting out to a 6-19 start. Will the Bucks take care of business at home against the Cavaliers on Saturday?
Thompson, Beilein get into it on bench in win vs. Spurs
The Cavaliers are trying to continue their momentum after stunning the Spurs in San Antonio to open their three-game road trip on Thursday night. Kevin Love scored 30 points and hauled in 17 rebounds while hitting a game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime in the Cavs’ 117-109 win. Collin Sexton finished with 28 points while Kevin Porter Jr. added 25 off of the bench for the Cavaliers, who snapped an eight-game losing streak with the win.
Cleveland fans will have to wait a little longer to get a look at rookie shooting guard Dylan Windler, who suffered a setback in his return from a leg injury that has cost him the first 25 games of his rookie season. Windler, the 26th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, will be re-evaluated in two weeks after re-aggravating a stress reaction n his lower left leg.
Cavaliers’ head coach Job Beilein and power forward Tristan Thompson appeared to get into it on the bench during Cleveland’s win over the Spurs on Thursday. The incident occurred after Thompson appeared to lag behind the play on a Spurs’ fast break. Thompson was promptly benched for the fourth quarter and did not return during the overtime session. After the game, Beilein focused his attention on Thompson’s replacement, Larry Nance Jr., saying, “Larry was giving us everything that Tristan gives us.”
Bucks ride monster fourth quarter to beat Grizzlies
The Bucks pushed their current winning streak to 17 games on Friday night with a 127-114 comeback victory over the youthful Memphis Grizzlies. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter and hauled in 11 rebounds to help Milwaukee overcome a career-high 43 points from Jaren Jackson Jr. Kris Middleton added 26 points while Brook Lopez had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who outscored the Grizzlies by 18 points in the final quarter.
Through the first 24 games of the season, Antetokounmpo has been flashing improved confidence in his 3-point shot, especially from the top of the 3-point arc. Last season, he was just 6-for-53 on above-the-break 3-pointers at this point in the season. Fast forward a year later, and Antetokounmpo has shot 116 3-pointers from above-the-break making 37 of them for a respectable 31.9 percent clip.
In 26 contests this season, the Bucks lead the league with a 101.3 defensive rating and a +12.8 net rating, which is nearly 3.5 points better than the next-highest team (Dallas Mavericks). The Bucks haven’t been too shabby on offense either, ranking third in the league with a 114.1 offensive rating.
The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, and play at the Fiserv Forum. Former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl was the long-time owner of the team, but on April 16, 2014, a group led by billionaire hedge fund managers Wes Edens and Marc Lasry agreed to purchase a majority interest in the team from Kohl, a sale which was approved by the owners of the NBA and its Board of Governors one month later on May 16. The team is managed by Jon Horst, the team’s former director of basketball operations, who took over for John Hammond in May 2017.
The Bucks have won one league title (1971), two conference titles (1971 and 1974), and 14 division titles (1971–1974, 1976, 1980–1986, 2001, 2019). They have featured such notable players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Moncrief, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge, Bob Lanier, Glenn Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Junior Bridgeman, Michael Redd, Terry Cummings, Vin Baker, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson, and Brian Winters. Abdul-Jabbar and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player while playing for the Bucks, for a total of four MVP awards.