Milwaukee Bucks vs Detroit Pistons (Game 3): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI, USA.

When: Saturday, April 20th at 8pm EST.

How (TV): ESPN

Milwaukee Bucks (Away)

Head Coach: {All-Time: 273-219 | ATL, MIL}

Season Record: 60-22

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

Top Performers

  • F Giannis Antetokounmpo – 27.7 PPG | 12.5 RPG | 5.9 APG
  • G/F Khris Middleton – 18.3 PPG | 6.0 RPG | .378 3P%
  • G Eric Bledsoe – 15.9 PPG | 5.5 APG | 1.5 SPG

After a dominating win in game one of this opening round series, the Milwaukee Bucks kept their foot on the gas pedal, beating the Detroit Pistons 120-99 on Wednesday night. Point guard Eric Bledsoe led all scorers with 27 points, while Milwaukee’s All-Star duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton had 26 and 24 points, respectively.

The Bucks stifled the Pistons on defense by throwing a block party, as they tallied 11 denials in the win. Pat Connaughton was the leading shot blocker with four swats to go with his 18 points and 9 rebounds off the bench.

Detroit Pistons (Home)

Head Coach: Dwane Casey {All-Time: 414-348 | Teams: MIN, TOR, DET}

Season Record: 41-41

Projected Starting Five: (G) Reggie Jackson – (G) Wayne Ellington – (G) Luke Kennard – (F) Thon Maker – (C) Andre Drummond

Top Performers

  • C Andre Drummond – 17.3 PPG | 15.6 RPG | 1.7 BPG
  • G Reggie Jackson – 15.4 PPG | 4.2 APG | .369 3P%
  • G Luke Kennard – 9.7 PPG | .394 3P% | .836 FT%

Again missing star forward Blake Griffin due to injury, the Detroit Pistons misery continued at Fiserv Forum. Sharpshooter Luke Kennard led the scoring effort with 19 points on four of six shooting from beyond the arc. Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond each contributed 18 points, with the latter adding 16 rebounds.

The Pistons struggled to overcome Milwaukee’s long defensive front, shooting just 37.4% from the field and 33% from three-point range. One bright spot for Detroit came in the turnover department, as the Pistons coughed up the ball just eight times all game. For a team that ranked 18th in turnovers per game during the regular season, that is one positive that the Pistons will look to repeat going forward.

What’s At Stake?

The Milwaukee Bucks will look to win their third straight first-round game three on Saturday. A win will put them in great shape for their first trip to the second round since 2001.

Still looking for their first playoff win since 2008, the Detroit Pistons will need to snap their six-game skid to the Bucks to show some signs of life in this series. The last time Detroit beat Milwaukee in a game three, the Pistons went on to win the title in 2004.

The Pistons Not Getting to the Line

With teams becoming more reliant on three-point shots, it is not uncommon for them to be hit by cold spells from long range. Oftentimes, the best remedy is to attack the basket in hopes of drawing fouls and hitting free throws to rebuild a shooter’s confidence.

Unfortunately for Detroit, the Pistons have failed to even get that part right by averaging just 15 visits to the charity stripe this series. Some of that may be due to them being the road team in the first two games and officials appealing to the home crowd. However, it should not completely excuse them from their poor execution on offense.

Pat Connaughton Has Stepped Up

After three seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Pat Connaughton has become Milwaukee’s top reserve this series, averaging 14 points through the first two games. The Notre Dame product has been a welcome addition to a team that was desperate for perimeter shooting a season ago, with a respectable 33% clip from outside the arc this season. Not bad for a former baseball prospect.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

F Tony Snell – 17 Apr 2019 – Day to Day (Ankle) – Snell missed game two on Wednesday and is doubtful for game three, according to’s Malika Andrews.

G Malcolm Brogdon – 16 Mar 2019 – Out (Heel) – Brogdon is dealing with a minor plantar fascia in his right foot, and has no timetable for a return according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

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

C Pau Gasol – 23 Mar 2019 – Out (Ankle) – Gasol is expected to be out for a month according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

Detroit Pistons Roster Notes

F Blake Griffin – 17 Apr 2019 – Day to Day (Knee) – Griffin missed game two and is questionable for game three despite his protests to coach Casey to return to the lineup, according to Rich Rovito of the Associated Press.

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk – 17 Apr 2019 – Day to Day (Finger) – Mykhailiuk missed game two and is questionable to return for game three.

X-Factors: Khris Middleton (MIL) vs Luke Kennard (DET)

With the two top scorers for each team doing their scoring damage around the rim, someone else has to keep the defense honest as a perimeter threat. Two long-range marksmen will be the focus of this game, as first-time All-Star Khris Middleton will take on a sophomore in Luke Kennard.

Khris Middleton

Shooting Guard/Small Forward | 6-8, 222lb (203cm, 100kg) | Texas A&M | Exp. 6 Years

18.3 PPG | 4.3 APG | 6.0 RPG | 1.0 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 2.3 TOV | .441 FG% | .378 3P%

One of the best shooters in the league, Khris Middleton has been the perfect complimentary piece for Antetokounmpo, as the Greek Freak has attracted enough attention to himself to free up open looks for Middleton. The reverse has also been true, as the Texas A&M and Milwaukee’s other shooters have allowed Antetokounmpo to score in bunches without having to settle for jump shots.

Like many other players on the Bucks roster, Middleton has a rangy frame that allows him to disrupt passing lanes and make opposing shooters uncomfortable.

Luke Kennard

Shooting Guard | 6-5, 206lb (196cm, 93kg) | Duke | Exp. 1 Years

9.7 PPG | 1.8 APG | 2.9 RPG | 0.4 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 0.9 TOV | .438 FG% | .394 3P%

Two years into his NBA career, Luke Kennard is best known as the guy taken one pick before Donovan Mitchell, one of the top players in the 2017 draft class thus far.

Kennard has received the trial by fire treatment in Detroit, as he has barely spent any time in the G-League. The former Duke Blue Devil has excelled in his role as a shooter, shooting 40.3% for his career while limiting his turnovers and not trying to do too much.

Milwaukee Bucks at Detroit Pistons Predictions and Odds

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