With this loss it seems more likely than ever the Bucks will see a playoff reboot against a revitalized Raptors team in a 1-8 matchup. Assuming the Wizards are untouchable three games ahead of the Bucks, the seventh-seeded Heat have ten games remaining with half against tanking teams and an 82nd game matchup with the Raptors who at that point will presumably have nothing to play for. The Bucks meanwhile face playoff-caliber opponents in six of their eleven remaining games, with seven of the eleven coming on the road.
Bucks Lose Giannis to Sprained Ankle
When Giannis Antetokounmpo was ruled out for the second half of the game with an ankle sprain last night, many assumed the Clippers’ lead would slowly bloom en route to a comfortable win. To the Bucks’ credit they hung around and made it interesting, riding impressive offensive efforts from Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker who combined for 43 points. Parker notably stepped up in Antetokounmpo’s absence to record a season-high 30 minutes, and looked comfortable doing so.
However the potent offensive showing was not enough to match the Clippers, who dominated in the paint and from three. Deandre Jordan recorded 25 points and 22 rebounds, including 8 offensive boards which matched the Bucks’ team total. This paired with hot shooting from Austin Rivers, Tobias Harris, and Milos Teodosic–combining for 12-19 from three–was too much to overcome.
The Bucks face the Bulls in Chicago on Friday at 7pm. Milwaukee’s star Giannis Antetokounmpo remains doubtful.
By: Daniel Gaenslen