The Pacers are back in Milwaukee to face the Bucks and back on TNT for a rare Thursday night national broadcast. Both circumstances have proven difficult for the Pacers having been rolled rather easily by the Bucks in Milwaukee in the second game of the season and then losing by 24 in Philly when last on TNT.
Add to the mix that Domas Sabonis is still in Indy nursing a sprained ankle (hoping to go to Philly with the team on Sunday), and the Pacers are double-digit underdogs against the East-leading Bucks. This is the final of four games between the teams with Milwaukee holding a 1-2 advantage so far. In the Pacers’ win, Thad Young slowed down Giannis Antetokoumnpo thanks to a teammate or two greeting the Greek Freak everytime he tried his signature spin in the lane.
Giannis took note and adjusted quite nicely in the third matchup which the Buls won at BLF, scoring 33 points with 19 rebounds and 11 assists -- an MVP performance. His high level of play sets up the rest of the Bucks around the perimeter to shoot threes which makes them so hard to slow down and why they lead the East.
The opportunity remains for the short-handed Pacers to make a big statement and remain firmly entrenched in the third spot in the East. That will require minimizing turnovers and shooting a strong percentage from behind the arc. Not time for off nights from anyone tonight.
The Bucks will be without local legend George Hill who has missed the last five games with a groin injury.
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Darren Collison, Wesley Matthews, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner
Bucks: Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
IND: Victor Oladipo (right knee) - out, Domantas Sabonis (left ankle) - out
MIL: George Hill (left groin) - out, Donte DiVincenzo (bilateral heel bursitis) - questionable, Sterling Brown (right wrist) - out
Enemy view: Brew Hoop
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.