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Preview: Hornets look for upset over Bucks

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The Hornets will try to topple established playoff teams in back to back nights.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

What: Charlotte Hornets (8-11) vs Milwaukee Bucks (11-7)

When: 8:00 pm, EST

Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC

How to watch: Fox Sports South(east), NBA League Pass

The Hornets are coming off a very solid win over the Indiana Pacers. Aside from a rough patch in the early parts of the fourth quarter, they played good basketball on both ends of the court and had the game under control for most of the contest. They’ll need a similarly balanced performance to take down one of the league’s best teams.

The Bucks have been overshadowed this season by shinier, newer toys. The Lakers of course will get their attention being that they are the Lakers and they’re the defending champions. The Nets with all of their acquisitions and the surging 76ers have taken all of the spotlight in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks trail both of teams in the win-loss column, but they have the best point differential in the East by a substantial margin and have a case that they might still be the best team top to bottom in the conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is still doing his thing. He’s averaging 27.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. He dunks on everybody and sometimes airballs 3-pointers and free throws. He’s probably going to get some big numbers against the Hornets who don’t really have anyone that can handle him on the interior.

A Hornets win will probably have to look something like the Pelicans win over the Bucks last night. Giannis went off for 38 points, but the Pelicans were able to keep pace by getting hot from three and canning 21 triples. The Hornets might not need 21 3-pointers, per se, but they aren’t going to beat the Bucks with a cold shooting night. Defensively, they need to limit the damage done from the outside by Khris Middleton and the rest of the Bucks supporting cast.

A win tonight would be a huge confidence boost for a Hornets team that looks like it wants to be good, but they just haven’t quite gotten all the pieces to click at the right time. Taking down a championship contender on the second night of a back to back is the kind of result that makes those things click.