Oklahoma City Thunder vs Milwaukee Bucks: Predictions, Odds, and Roster Notes

WSN's Picks: Milwaukee Bucks defeat Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Milwaukee Bucks Quick Facts

Where Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
When Friday, 28 February 2020, 8:00 PM EST
TV ESPN, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Oklahoma
Web Radio 620 AM/103.3 FM WTMJ, WWLS 98.1FM OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder (Away)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time 235-151 | OKC}

Season Record: 36-22

Projected Starting Five: (G) Chris Paul – (G) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – (F) Luguentz Dort – (F) Danilo Gallinari – (C) Steven Adams

Top Performers:

  • (G) Shai Gilegous-Alexander – 35.5 MPG | 19.4 PPG | 6.3 RPG | 3.3 APG
  • (F) Danilo Gallinari – 30.7 MPG | 19.2 PPG | 5.6 RPG | 2.2 APG
  • (G) Chris Paul – 31.8 MPG | 17.5 PPG | 6.7 APG | 5.1 RPG

The Oklahoma City Thunder are just half a game back from the Utah Jazz and have their eyes set on the Houston Rockets’ fourth seed in the Western Conference. They look to maintain their winning form against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Thunder have been excellent in their last four games, scoring an incredible 122.8 points per game to their opponents 111.0. OKC’s 43.8% three-point percentage over these four games, while limiting their opponents to 32.8% from deep has been crucial.

They’ll need that same magic when they take on the Bucks. Milwaukee is an incredible inside-out team, settling for very few mid-range opportunities. OKC will have to prove they can press and recover against the NBA leaders.

Milwaukee Bucks (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer {All-Time 323-228 | ATL, MIL}

Season Record: 50-8

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

Top Performers:

  • (F) Giannis Antetokounmpo – 30.9 MPG | 29.7 PPG | 13.7 RPG | 5.8 APG
  • (F) Khris Middleton – 29.9 MPG | 21.1 PPG | 6.3 RPG | 4.2 APG
  • (G) Eric Bledsoe – 27.3 MPG | 15.8 PPG | 5.5 APG | 4.8 RPG

The Milwaukee Bucks are the first team this season to reach 50 wins. After overcoming a 14 point deficit against their rivals the Toronto Raptors, the Bucks have truly established themselves as the contending force in the NBA.

The Bucks showed in their win against Toronto that their defence is as formidable as their offence. While they shot 14-46 in their second and fourth quarters, the Bucks showed their length and hustle can win them games as well.

Milwaukee faces an Oklahoma City Thunder team that almost took a win from them earlier in the year. Versatile, quick to the rim, and unselfish as anyone, the Thunder’s ball movement gave the Bucks fits last time out.

What’s At Stake?

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Oklahoma City Thunder have a competitive history. Over 22 regular-season meetings, the Thunder lead the Bucks 13-9.

A win for the Oklahoma City Thunder would bring them level with the Utah Jazz who occupy fifth in the Western Conference.

A win for the Milwaukee Bucks would solidify their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference and the NBA.

Questions to answer

Can the Thunder reclaim their hot shooting against the Bucks?

Will the Bucks be able to keep up with OKC’s movement?

We are going to compare the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Milwaukee Bucks in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

OKC: Attack the Bigs!

The Milwaukee Bucks are a big team, to say the least. Length at the centre position in the Lopez twins, at the guard positions with Hill and Bledsoe, and of course in the frontcourt between the Bucks’ All-Stars Antetokounmpo and Middleton.

Despite that length, the Thunder were able to play their patented game last time out against Milwaukee. Drawing out slow-footed bigs in order to attack the rim. However, the formula was slightly different.

Ranked 27th in the NBA in three-point attempts per game, OKC put up an incredible 42 three-point attempts against the Bucks and converted on 17 of them. Making one more pass opens up the game for the Thunder. If they can get even a slight handle on the defensive side, their offence might carry them through.

MIL: It is Written

The Milwaukee Bucks have overcome their biggest obstacles so far this season. They’ve defeated the Lakers and Clippers once each as well as their Eastern Conference rivals the Toronto Raptors twice – though an injury-riddled unit. Nothing looks to stop these Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks struggled in their last game against the Thunder due to Oklahoma’s passing efficiency and ability to score inside and out. Milwaukee succeeds and overcomes deficits because of the versatility of their defence. But the three-guard lineup of the Thunder gave them problems last time out.

To take a win the Bucks need to contain OKC’s speed and stay disciplined in their rotations against the Thunder. All of the Thunder can pass the ball expertly. To defeat them, Milwaukee needs to know when to take their chances in the paint and on the perimeter.

Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Notes

(F) Darius Bazely – 10 Feb 2020 – Out (Knee) – Bazley has a right knee bone bruise and will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks according to Royce Young of ESPN.com.

(G) Andre Roberson – 4 Dec 2019 – Out (Knee) – The Thunder announced that Roberson will continue his rehab away from the team for the time being and there is no timetable for his return.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

(F) Kyle Korver – 25 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Back) – Korver did not play in Tuesday’s (Feb. 25) game against Toronto.

Head-to-Head: (G) Terrance Ferguson vs (G) Donte DiVincenzo

This matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Oklahoma City Thunder sees two of the NBA’s most exciting teams face off. Terrance Ferguson and Donte DiVincenzo were impactful off the bench in their last matches. Their contributions will be essential to their success.

(G) Terrance Ferguson (6-6, 190lb (198cm, 86kg) | Advanced Prep International HS | 2 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 21 OKC 44 24.4 4.5 1.5 1.0 .387 .317

With the emergence of Dennis Schroeder, Terrance Ferguson has taken a step back. His efficiency has dropped, especially attacking the rim as he averages less than one two-point field-goals per game. He’s scored less than 10 points in 37 of his 44 games played but came up big in his last game against the Chicago Bulls. He is still relegated to being a three-and-D threat, but an increase in production would be welcome for all OKC parties.

(G) Donte DiVincenzo (6-4, 203lb (193cm, 92kg) | Villanova | 1 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 23 MIL 53 22.8 9.1 4.8 2.2 .455 .340

Donte DiVincenzo has proven himself a valuable piece for the Milwaukee Bucks. He’s improved his shooting efficiency and has been excellent on the defensive side of the court. Most surprisingly, his production on the glass has been more than welcome – even putting in a surprising rebounding effort, three offensive rebounds, in his last win over the Toronto Raptors.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: Milwaukee Bucks defeat Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder at Milwaukee Bucks Predictions and Odds

Sportsbook City Thunder Bucks
DraftKings +425 -560
888Sport NJ +425 -560

Why the Oklahoma City Thunder Will Win?

The Oklahoma City Thunder break teams down slowly and with precision. Taking advantage of plodding big men like Robin and Brook Lopez will be at the center of their game plan. If the Thunder can overcome the Bucks’ towering defense and finish at the rim, the match is theirs.

Why the Milwaukee Bucks Will Win?

The Milwaukee Bucks could not be stopped in the paint in their last match against the Thunder. Despite capable rim-protectors in Adams and Noel, the same is projected to occur this time out. Milwaukee will have to contain the Thunder’s lightning-quick guards if they want a win though.

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