Milwaukee Bucks vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game Preview

Atop the NBA standings and on the second straight night, the Milwaukee Bucks are back from their brief stay at Riley Feldmannland, looking to become the league’s first to nine wins. In their path are the Oklahoma City Thunder and their young whippersnappers, who are off to a good start given that youth and a tough roster of opponents to start the season.

Where we are

Again, now is a great time to be a Bucks fan. As other sports teams in the state flounder to varying degrees, the wider NBA is reeling from anti-Semitic actions and tacit complicity from its high-profile stars to the abhorrence of its young players’ wives (and perhaps a team itself), the Bucks represent all that is good about basketball. In general, they looked great in Minneapolis and eventually started doing threes, but they came back awfully late (early?) this morning. Perhaps we’ll see fewer minutes tonight from the starters – all but Jevon Carter played over 30 minutes last night – but similarly to last weekend’s home B2B, Wesley Matthews only played 10 minutes ahead. Despite picking up his first triple-double of the young campaign in the dying hours of Friday night, Giannis is listed as questionable with left knee pain. Otherwise, two-way players AJ Green (recovering from surgery on his fractured nose) and Sandro Mamukelashvili (questionable with a possible concussion) make up the injury report, aside from longer-term injuries (Khris Middleton, Pat Connaughton and Joe English).

In Oklahoma, which I believe is Choctaw for “Amassed First-Round Picks,” early returns on 2022-23 aren’t bad. Coming off a 0-3 start, including two losses to the same Timberwolves the Bucks dispatched a night ago, the Thunder have won four of five in a row over the title favorites Clippers. These victories stem from a surprisingly solid defense, led by Lu Dort, but which finds its effectiveness with a rotating distribution of starting frontcourts depending on their opponent. OKC obviously misses no. 2 pick Chet Holmgren, out for the year after foot surgery, but will also miss third-year big walking/human stick Aleksej Pokusevski.

Player to watch

Shai Gilgeous Alexander is coming off a big night in Denver, and at 32.3 PPG would get MVP buzz if he was on a title contender. Like Giannis, he is a reigning conference player of the week. He also took steps forward defensively, struggling better against screens and using his speed to average 2.5 steals per game. Both Jrue Holiday and Carter will likely see some weather on him tonight, and he could take on the task of slowing down Holiday’s recent hot spell on the other end.



Survey

Game 9: Against Oklahoma City, the Bucks will…

  • 43%

    Win big (by 10 points or more)

    (38 votes)

  • 45%

    Win from close (by 9 points or less)

    (40 votes)

  • 11%

    Lose close (by 9 points or less)

    (10 votes)

  • 0%

    Lose big (by 10 points or more)

    (0 votes)


88 voices in total

Vote now


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The Bucks face off against the Thunder at 7 p.m. (Central). All Nationally Televised NBA Games can be watched on SlingTV.

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