The Milwaukee Bucks welcome the Golden State Warriors on Friday, December 7, at the Fiserv Forum and want to show they are a top contender in the NBA.
Milwaukee has started the season in the best way possible, being second in the Eastern Conference, with just seven defeats in 22 games (15-7 record).
The new head coach, Mike Budenholzer, has seen his players play at high standards on both ends of the floor.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo as the undisputed leader and the supporting cast offering extra solutions to coach Budenholzer, the Bucks have shown they are capable of being a top contender in the Eastern Conference.
The team is currently having the highest offensive rating (points per 100 possessions), with 115.5 points.
At the same time, their defensive rating is the sixth best in the league (106 points per 100 possessions), yet they conceded 136 points in the loss to the New York Knicks (134-136) on Saturday (01/12).
As stated above, Antetokounmpo has taken over the Bucks and is working on bringing the squad to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The “Greek Freak” has averaged 27.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and six assists, leading Milwaukee to the best start to the season since 1971/1972.
Alongside him, Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez do their best to help the Bucks go all the way. Above all, coach Budenholzer has changed the team’s playing style and the squad plays consistently, especially offensively.
On the other hand, the Golden State Warriors have been in free fall lately and play far below their usual standards.
Even though they dominated their opponents in the beginning of the season, things have been different lately.
The injuries of key players (Stephen Curry, Draymond Green), along with the incident between the latter and Kevin Durant, affected the team’s chemistry and the defending champions have been vulnerable since then.
Not only have they played badly both offensively and offensively, but they have suffered a series of defeats that have prevented them from remaining on top of the standings (fourth place, 15-9 record).
GSW have lost their last six games on the road, while they have been defeated seven times in their last eleven matches.
The return to action of Curry will be helpful for the squad, as the three-time NBA champion missed 11 games, due to a strained left groin, and his absence was painful for the Warriors.
Just like Milwaukee, GSW is very productive offensively, with an offensive rating of 113.9 points per 100 possessions, so a high-scoring game is expected.
The Warriors’ offence scores 115.9 points per game, whereas the Bucks’ one is the best in the entire league, with 121.4 points.
It should be taken into account that Friday’s game will be the fifth straight one on the road for the defending champions, which could affect their physical condition.
The Warriors will have to be effective defensively, as they will face the top team in the NBA in field goal percentage (56.7%) and true shooting (59.7%).
In the first match between the two teams three weeks ago (November 08), the Bucks had triumphed over GSW in Oakland (111-134) and want to do the same on Friday night.
Although it is still early for a prediction and most NBA odds are subject to change, offence will be the key to the match, so a high-scoring game is expected.
The Warriors will seek to return to the winning track, whereas the Bucks will attempt to show they are one of the best teams in the NBA and can go all the way.
*Prior to their battle, Milwaukee will host the Detroit Pistons (December 5), whereas GSW will face the likes of the Atlanta Hawks (December 3) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (December 5) on the road.