The Utah Jazz will have their hands full against a daunting Milwaukee Bucks team that is atop the East, has won seven straight and will be seeking revenge.
The last time the Utah Jazz faced off against the Milwaukee Bucks, it required the last-minute heroics of Bojan Bogdanovic draining a three-point buzzer beater to earn the win. This time around, the Jazz may very well need that and more magic if they are to defeat the current number one seed in the East.
First of all, this game comes on the road instead of within the friendly confines of Vivint Smart Home Arena. Considering that the Bucks are 5-1 inside Fiserv Forum and are currently the best team in the Eastern Conference with a 13-3 record, this one is bound to be a challenge. Not to mention, the Bucks have won seven straight games and look every bit the daunting frontrunner of the East as many suspected they would be.
Factor in as well that the Jazz narrowly defeated them in the last contest, and it’s almost certain that this Milwaukee squad is going to be out for blood and aiming to earn revenge. The Jazz may be hard-pressed to prevent that as Rudy Gobert, who sat out the previous contest with an ankle sprain, is still listed as questionable for the bout, as of this writing.
Gobert was pictured on the Utah Jazz’s pre-game graphic on Twitter, though, so hopefully that’s a sign that he’ll indeed be able to suit up. Although Royce O’Neale played the most central role in slowing reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo last time these two teams faced off, having Gobert in action to further impede him, protect the rim and cover stretch big-man Brook Lopez will be highly critical.
Without Gobert, I’m not so certain the Jazz will have the necessary firepower to stop the Bucks, so ideally he’ll end up being able to go.
Tip-off: 6:00 PM MT on November 25 from Fiserve Forum in Milwaukee, WI
TV: AT&T SportsNet/NBA TV
Radio: The Zone Sports Network (97.5 FM & 1280 AM Salt Lake City)
Projected Starting Lineups
|Utah Jazz||Position||Golden State Warriors|
|Rudy Gobert||C||Brook Lopez|
|Royce O’Neale||PF||Giannis Antetokounmpo|
|Bojan Bogdanovic||SF||Wesley Matthews|
|Donovan Mitchell||SG||Donte DiVincenzo|
|Mike Conley||PG||Eric Bledsoe|
The Milwaukee Bucks find themselves quite wounded for the time being as All-Star Khris Middleton is expected to be sidelined for several weeks with a quadriceps injury. They’ve played well in his absence, but there’s no questioning he’ll be missed. They’ll also be without former Jazzman George Hill, who is day-to-day as he deals with back soreness.
Meanwhile, the formerly mentioned Gobert is questionable, but it feels likely that he’ll play. If he’s unable to go, expect Tony Bradley, who played quite well in Utah’s last contest against the New Orleans Pelicans, to once again get the start. Ed Davis remains out as well with the fibula fracture, but according to The Athletic’s Tony Jones, he did some light work at shootaround which is a good sign that he’s progressing in the right direction.
According to The Action Network, the Utah Jazz enter the game as 5.5-point underdogs. If Gobert plays, I’d say that’s accurate. If he doesn’t play, I could see it being far worse of a loss. And considering how spotty the Jazz have played of late, including losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves, as well as blown leads against the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans, I have a feeling it might be worse than that.
I’m projecting an elite Bucks team playing on their home court to stick it to the Jazz by a score of 121-110.
#UTAatMIL will be the hashtag on Twitter for Monday’s game. As per usual, the live comment thread will be up and running below. Go Jazz!