Detroit Pistons vs Milwaukee Bucks Game 2: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks, Game 2

Where: Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI

When: Wednesday, April 17th at 8:00 PM EST


Series Standing: 0-1 MIL

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 dealt a serious blow when they were informed Blake Griffin would miss the entirety of the NBA’s first round. Without him in tow, the Pistons were lost.

Detroit dropped Game 1 in Detroit in embarrassing fashion. Despite valiant efforts across the board, the talent game was, and may very well be, too great to overcome.

The Detroit Pistons enter Game 2 knowing it is unlikely to get any worst than it had in Game 1. They will however need to show some resolve, as the world is already counting them out.

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

What was Detroit’s pain is Milwaukee’s gain. With Griffin out of the series, the Bucks have the clear advantage in terms of talent on the court. In fact, it was noticeable by the shocking scoreline.

The Bucks are nursing injuries of their own, but the damage to Detroit allows their depth to take advantage and allow for more recovery by their more key pieces.

The Bucks were able to distribute the minutes equally amongst their squad in Game 1. They should be coming in fresh, ready to run the Pistons out of the gym once more.

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.

Up 1-0, the Bucks look to deflate the Pistons with another win before heading to Detroit for Games 3 and 4.

The Pistons want to steal a win to even the series, in order to improve their odds to take the series with an upcoming home stand.

For the Pistons, Game 2 Will Be More Telling

The Detroit Pistons dropped Game 1 to the Milwaukee Bucks by 35 points. The plus side of that result is that the Pistons can redefine themselves with a single game.

They will need to do so in Game 2, as it has been confirmed that Blake Griffin will be out for the remainder of the series. Luke Kennard stepped up in a big way off the bench but wasn’t supported by anyone else.

Eyes will also be on reigning coach of the year Dwane Casey. The defensive-minded coach has improved his offensive schemes over the years, but how he runs the Pistons lacking an attacking focal point will be under close observation.

The Bucks Were Just Toying Around

The Milwaukee Bucks jumped out to an early 10-2 lead against the Pistons and never looked back. Their offense was tremendous and their defense was stifling. Better yet, their performance allowed Budenhozler to go deep into his bench.

The Bucks player with the most minutes in the match was Pat Connaughton at 28 minutes logged. The benefit of the Pistons misfortune is that the Bucks were able to nurse some of their injured pieces in the process of the game.

They likely won’t get the chance to do the same, as the Pistons will surely be motivated to not suffer the same result for the second match in a row.

What Does Thon Maker Have?

Thon Maker burst onto the scene in his rookie season, showing out in a first-round playoff meeting with the Toronto Raptors. He regressed as a sophomore with the Bucks and thus found his way to the Pistons. He was clearly remembered by Dwane Casey, as his stats don’t fully represent his skill:

With Blake Griffin out, Maker is the new face at power forward. He performed poorly in his first game against the Bucks but will look to channel some of the former playoff energy to punish his former team.

Sterling Brown Has Been A Nice Surprise

To begin the year, Sterling Brown wasn’t expected to be a big piece for the Milwaukee Bucks. With injuries abound, Brown has found himself thrust into the starting lineup where he has excelled.

Particularly interesting has been Brown’s ability to distribute the ball while he is on the court. Passing, shooting, and more passing are the tenants of the Bucks offense. Brown has bought in, totaling 7 assists in his last match.

While the Bucks’ offense is tailored to spread assist numbers across the box score, Brown has separated himself as one of their more decisive distributors. If he can continue this play, the Pistons’ defense will be chasing ghosts on defense.

Detroit Pistons Roster Notes

F Blake Griffin – 15 Apr 2019 – Out (Knee) – Griffin will reportedly miss the entire first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

F Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk – 13 Apr 2019 – Day To Day (Fractured Left Index Finger) – Mykhailiuk has been ruled OUT for Sunday’s (April 14) Game One.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

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.

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: Ish Smith (DET) vs Pat Connaughton (MIL)

Two bench players will be the point of focus in Game 2 between the Pistons and the Bucks. Ish Smith, the playmaker of choice for the Pistons was quiet in Game 1. On the other end, “Vanilla Thunder” Pat Connaughton was an admirable support in 28 minutes.

Ish Smith

Point Guard | 6-0, 175lb (183cm, 79kg) | Wake Forest | Exp. 8 Years

8.9 PPG | 3.6 APG | 2.6 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 1.1 TOV | .419 FG% | .326 3P%

Ish Smith is one of the NBA’s most underrated point guards, whether he starts or comes off the bench. Smith needs to be productive for the Pistons if they hope to take Game 2.

Smith’s line in Game 1 was disappointing, but productive in a loss. He posted 4 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals on the evening.

Smith had only a 15.3% usage rating on the court. With Griffin out of the lineup, Smith is Detroit’s best playmaker. Expect more from him as touches increase to provide for the likes of Maker, Drummond, and their shooters.

Pat Connaughton

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 209lb (193cm, 94kg) | Notre Dame | Exp. 3 Years

6.9 PPG | 2.0 APG | 4.2 RPG | 0.5 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 0.5 TOV | .466 FG% | .330 3P%

The rarely used Pat Connaughton has found himself a regular contributor for the Bucks, as their lineup boasts a number of difficult injuries.

Connaughton left Game 1 with a 10 point, 8 rebound, and 1 blocks stat line. While modest, the value of Connaughton was found in his efficiency.

He shot 67% from the field, 50% from three, and was overall a +4 in 28 minutes of play. Such is the value of an intelligent player like Connaughton, there is no drop-off when he steps into Budenholzer’s system.

Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Odds

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