Detroit Pistons vs Milwaukee Bucks: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks

Where: Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI

When: Sunday, April 14th at 7:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

Detroit Pistons (Away)

Head Coach: Dwane Casey {All-Time 414-348 | DET}

Season Record: 41-41, 8th in the East

Projected Starting Five: (G) Reggie Jackson – (G) Bruce Brown – (G) Wayne Ellington – (F) Blake Griffin – (C) Andre Drummond

The Detroit Pistons were expected to do well this season, but they let their performance take their season down to the wire. Regardless, the Pistons separated themselves from the pack and finished the year with a .500 record.

The Pistons gave themselves a stressful end to the schedule. In their last ten games, the Detroit Pistons finished 3-7. Luckily the failures of the Hornets and the Heat helped them into the post-season.

The Pistons were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks during the regular season and were dominated for all but one game during the year. The Pistons offense was stifled and their defense was taken advantage of. They’ll have a difficult time against the Bucks.

Milwaukee Bucks (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer {All-Time 60-22 | MIL}

Season Record: 60-22, 1st in the East

Projected Starting Five: (G) Eric Bledsoe – (G) Sterling Brown – (F) Khris Middleton – (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – (C) Brook Lopez

The Milwaukee Bucks exceeded all expectations this season. It is a credit to Mike Budenholzer for recognizing the talent he had and for implementing his system. The Bucks finished at the top of the league and the Eastern Conference.

Despite a number of injuries to close out their year, the Milwaukee Bucks finished 7-3 in their last ten games. Health was a concern during that time and still stands in the beginning portion of the playoffs.

The greatest concern for the Bucks going into this series with the Detroit Pistons is the fact that they own six players that are nursing injuries. While some will certainly fight through it, their eventual focus on depth may or may not work to their benefit.

What’s At Stake?

The Detroit Pistons and the Milwaukee Bucks are two classic Eastern Conference rivals. In 245 regular season games, the Bucks lead the Pistons 133-112.

These teams have met each other in four different playoff series in the past. The Pistons have dominated, winning all four series.

Both teams are looking to take the first game of the series for themselves.

The Pistons Have A Favourable Schedule

Everything about the Detroit Pistons schedule seems to go their way, other than being matched up with the Milwaukee Bucks. For the injured Blake Griffin, the time is crucial for his recovery.

The Pistons have all late starts in this series and maintain a two-day break in between games unless it goes to five-plus games.

With Blake Griffin rehabilitating his knee, the extra time is vital. Also worthwhile is the extra time given for planning afforded to Dwane Casey’s staff. With the cards stacked against them, the Pistons will take every assist they can get.

Can the Bucks Sustain Their Record Offence?

The Milwaukee Bucks put forth an incredibly impressive offensive clinic this season, to the tune of 60 wins. The location of their attempts was remarkable.

The Bucks shot 41% of their attempts at the rim, which was second in the league. Followed by 38.4% of their shots from three. They almost never took mid-range shots, where they were 29th in attempts.

When shooting fails, and in a seven-game series it usually does, the Bucks luckily have Antetokounmpo to rely on in the paint. However teams have succeeded when collapsing on him at the rim, so the pressure is on the Bucks’ role players.

Do the Pistons Even Have A Chance?

Many experts are pointing toward an easy first round for the Milwaukee Bucks. They’re all writing off the Pistons, which is likely quite fair. Despite that, they do have weapons at their disposal.

Most important for the Pistons is Blake Griffin, i.e. Point Blake. Casey has revitalized his career, giving the 6-10 high-flyer a playmaking role reminiscent of when Casey managed Demar Derozan. Giannis is unstoppable, but Griffin navigating screens and dribble hand-offs is a terrifying prospect.

It’s hard to bet against the Bucks, they swept the Pistons this year by an average of approximately fifteen points. The Pistons will surely put up a fight and the Motor City fans will be out in full-force.

Rebounding is Key for Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Bucks are a tremendous team on the defensive glass. They collect 77.1% of defensive rebounds and will need that same effort in the post-season.

While their offensive revolution takes all the headlines, their improvement on the glass has been brilliant. It all came down to a change in culture, as the faster a rebound was collected the faster they could get up the court.

They will need that team effort going forward as they face Andre Drummond, one of the NBA’s fiercest glass cleaners. He can’t be handled one-on-one, so the Bucks need to limit him as a unit.

Detroit Pistons Roster Notes

F Blake Griffin – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Knee) – Griffin did not play in Wednesday’s (April 10) game.

F Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Fractured Left Index Finger) – Mykhailiuk did not play in Wednesday’s (April 10) game.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

F Giannis Antetokounmpo – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Calf/Rest) – Antetokounmpo did not play in Wednesday’s (Apr 10) game.

F Tony Snell – 10 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – Snell did not play in Wednesday’s (Apr 10) game.

G Donte DiVincenzo – 26 Mar 2019 – Out For Season (Heel) – DiVincenzo is out for the rest of the season with bilateral heel bursitis in his right foot according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

C Pau Gasol – 23 Mar 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Gasol is expected to miss approximately one month with a left ankle injury according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

F Nikola Mirotic – 20 Mar 2019 – Out (Left thumb) – The Bucks announced F Nikola Mirotic has a fractured left thumb and is expected to miss the next two-to-four weeks.

G Malcolm Brogdon – 16 Mar 2019 – Out (Heel) – Brogdon has suffered a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot and will be out indefinitely according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.

X-Factors: Andre Drummond (DET) vs Brook Lopez (MIL)

Look at the center position for the key matchup in this game. Andre Drummond is elite in the paint but Brook Lopez is one of the leagues best stretch bigs. The winner of this matchup may signal the winner of this match.

Andre Drummond

Center | 6-11, 279lb (211cm, 126kg) | UConn | Exp. 6 Years

17.3 PPG | 1.4 APG | 15.6 RPG | 1.7 SPG | 1.7 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .533 FG% | .132 3P%

Andre Drummond will almost certainly control the paint for the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons. He doesn’t have a match in the paint, but for that, he should be wary.

He will certainly be lured out of key by stretch bigs Brook Lopez, Nikola Mitotic, and DJ Wilson.

It will come down to tactics and discipline for Drummond in this series. But within his own game, he is the best between these two sides.

Brook Lopez

Center | 7-0, 270lb (213cm, 122kg) | Stanford | Exp. 10 Years

12.5 PPG | 1.2 APG | 4.9 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 2.2 BPG | 1.0 TOV | .452 FG% | .365 3P%

Brook Lopez has remade himself in this late stage of his career. Once a talented post player, the Stanford-bred center has become a premier stretch big.

His ability from range is fantastic. Not only is he accurate, but due to his size closing out on Lopez tends to be ineffective.

Where Lopez can be taken advantage of is in the screen and roll. He is particularly slow-footed, allowing the Pistons to take advantage.

Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Odds

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