The Los Angeles Lakers take on the Milwaukee Bucks in a star-studded matchup between teams having seasons that are opposites of each other. The Bucks should feel like they are on top of the world, while the Lakers have plenty to work on. The game will take place at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Lakers enter tonight at 8-12, winning just two out of eight games on the road where they will play tonight. Despite this, they have been on the upswing, winning six of their last eight games. Getting Patrick Beverley back was also immensely important in their 19 point win over the Portland Trail Blazers. He helped improve their shooting to above 50%. The Lakers have been solid on defense, with the seventh-highest defensive rating of 110.1. They don’t give up many three pointers, which can pose a problem for the Bucks if Giannis Antetokounmpo gets taken out by the Lakers defense.
The Bucks have truly looked better this season than I have ever seen them, considering who they have on the roster. Prior to tonight, they have been dominating teams offensively. Antetokounmpo has averaged over 35 points per game in their last five. When he gets locked up driving down the court, they always have another option opening up. Whether it has been Grayson Allen on the perimeter or Jrue Holiday making plays on the mid-range, it seems like there will always be someone open every time they dribble the ball up the court.
How Los Angeles Can Win:
The Lakers need to lock up Antetokounmpo, who has been on an absolute tear of late. Holding him below 25 points gives the Lakers a huge boost in their own scoring as well. Compared to last season, the biggest improvement the Lakers have made so far is limiting their turnovers, and that’s a piece of their game they need to continue into tonight. Last season they had the fourth most turnovers in the league, while this season they have the fewest turnovers in the league. The Bucks have the talent to take advantage of these turnovers, so this is not a team to make mistakes against.
How Milwaukee Can Win:
The Bucks finally get Khris Middleton in their lineup as he makes his season debut tonight, and it seems like everything is falling into place for them. Middleton gives them another option on the outside to spread out the ball even more. If Antetokounmpo continues to score at the pace he’s at, along with Middleton making the most out of his debut, I don’t see why the Bucks cannot win today.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks 116, Los Angeles Lakers 112
I expect the Bucks to take an early lead, with the Lakers working to chip towards a win. Ultimately, I expect this game to end closely with the Bucks on top, but this will be a game full of runs going both team’s ways.