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Thunder vs Bucks: Game Preview

Tonight at 7:00 CST, your Oklahoma City Thunder take on probably the best team in the league for the 2nd time in 3 games. It's going to be a tough task facing Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of, if not the leading MVP candidate at the moment. Giannis was out on Saturday when the Bucks defeated OKC 108-94. An all around bad offensive performance against the league's best defensive team. Shai was held to just 18 points, his season low. For the bucks, Brook Lopez dominated with 25 points, Jrue Holiday had a double-double, and Bobby Portis dropped a career-high, 21 rebounds. Heading into this matchup, both teams are coming off losses. The Bucks recently losing in a shocker to the Hawks without Trae Young was their first loss of the season, and they now stand at 9-1. For OKC, they're desperately trying to get back into the win column after losing their past 3 games, dropping to 4-6. Now let's move on from the past and take a look at what tomorrow could hold.

(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).


Keys to the Game:

Here are my 3 main keys to win this game:

* Contain Giannis - Giannis Antetokounmpo in my eyes, is the best player in the world right now. He is unstoppable on offense, and is one of the top defenders in the NBA. It is going to take a miracle to stop a 6'11" Greak freak who is averaging 31.8 PPG, 12.2 RPG, and 5.3 APG. With no great defensive bigs on this team, it will be tough, and it is games like these where you really wish you had Chet Holmgren.

*Can Dort Get Going? - Dort has been struggling severely, (I broke that down in my last article) and facing a frontcourt of Giannis and Lopez, it will be near impossible to score inside. Thunder are going to have to get going from three, and that starts with Dort. Not related to Dort, but SGA also needs to attempt some 3s. He has been attempting under 3 a game and did not shoot a single one last game.

*Push the pace - When facing tough defenses like Milwaukee, scoring in transition is key to get your offense going. Thunder have been pretty good so far at doing so, and they are 2nd in the league in steals per game. They have to get going and avoid costly mistakes.


Injury Report:

Thunder:

Aleksej Pokusevski - QUESTIONABLE (Shoulder)

Chet Holmgren - OUT (Foot)

Bucks:

Giannis Antetokounmpo - PROBABLE (Knee)

Jrue Holiday - DOUBTFUL (Ankle)

Khris Middleton - OUT (Wrist)

Joe Ingles - OUT (Calf)

Pat Connaughton - OUT (Calf)

AJ Green - OUT (Nasal Fracture)


Betting Advice:

I am going to take the Bucks to cover the spread. The spread is set at MIL -6.5, and the Bucks beat the Thunder just 4 days ago by 14 points without Giannis. Jrue Holiday is likely out this time, but I am sure the bucks would rather have Giannis than Holiday. The other pick I'm taking is under 27.5 points for SGA. He was held to 18 last time against the Bucks, and I do expect him to score slightly more than that, but not quite 28 or more. With how hesitant he has been to shoot 3s, most of his points have been on the drive. The Bucks interior defense is just too good, and the Thunder have very poor spacing to surround him with.


Don't forget to follow @OKCDistrict_ for more daily Thunder news, updates, and more! Until next time, Thunder up.



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