When: 9:00 pm EDT
Where: Fiserv Forum; Milwaukee, WI
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Hornets come into tonight’s match-up missing almost half of their offensive productivity. Malik Monk, Gordon Hayward, and LaMelo Ball are all still out for the immediate future. Only knowing that, you’d think the Hornets have no shot tonight.
Fortunately for the Hornets (and this seems to be happening a lot this season), their opponent is dealing with their own injury woes. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday are both listed as out with hurt knees, while Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez are listed as doubtful with knee and back soreness respectively.
For those keeping track, that is six total starters and one key reserve out of action tonight.
If Middleton and Lopez do end up sitting out, Donte DiVincenzo will be the only regular Bucks starter taking the floor tonight. We’ll probably see the likes of Bobby Portis, Jeff Teague, and the other Antetokounmpo starting alongside him, but I honestly have no idea.
This version of the Bucks is beatable, even by an undermanned Hornets team. They are coming off back to back losses to the Warriors and Mavericks, with the second of those coming just 24 hours ago. Middleton, Holiday, and Lopez all played in those games, so it’s not like the Bucks were lacking all this firepower then.
The key for the Hornets tonight will be preventing a role player from having a hot shooting night. Even with all the injuries, the Bucks are still flush with shooters. DiVincenzo can get hot from deep, and the Hornets should be very familiar with what Bobby Portis can do when he has the green light.
The Bucks are also playing their first game at home after a six game road trip, so maybe the Hornets can catch them with their guard down.
A win tonight would give the Hornets a 4-2 record on their last major road trip of the season. Getting three games above .500 with 70% of the team’s remaining games at home would put them firmly in control of a non-play-in playoff spot.