The Oklahoma City Thunder will be back in action this coming Sunday as they travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for an intriguing matchup vs the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
The Thunder most likely will not have to play against the majority of the starting lineup that won the NBA Championship last year as the Bucks are choosing to be precautious with Giannis Antetokoumpo , Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, Jrue Holiday, and Rodney Hood. Here are my projected starters for each respective team, and a preview of what to expect from Thunder vs Bucks.
Point guard- George Hill
Shooting guard- Grayson Allen
Small forward- Jordan Nwora
Power forward- Thanasis Antetokoumpo
Center- Brook Lopez
Point guard- Shai Gilgeous Alexander
Shooting guard- Josh Giddey
Small forward- Luguentz Dort
Power forward- Darius Bazley
Center- Isaiah Roby
In their last game against the Hornets the Thunder had a difficult time scoring the ball, going 38% from the field, and 31% from three. I don’t believe they are that bad of an offensive team, so I do look for a bounce back game here. On the flip side, the Hornets went 49% from the field and 27% from three. Oklahoma City did a good job it seems on defending the perimeter, but struggled guarding in all other situations. As predicted, the Thunder were putrid in the paint on defense, giving up 62 of Charlotte’s 113 points in the paint. That will most likely carry over and be a huge storyline throughout the season.
And in their last game against the Memphis Grizzlies the Bucks struggled on the offensive end without their veteran leaders, going 41% from the field and 28% from three. This game on Sunday does have the potential to get ugly offensively. Oklahoma City would probably prefer for it to. On defense, Milwaukee gave up 46% from the field, and 31% from three to the Grizzlies.
As mentioned earlier, this has the potential to be an ugly game that could go down to the final buzzer. I do expect the Bucks to exploit the Thunder’s weakness in the paint, and I predict Milwaukee pulls off the win.
Oklahoma City Thunder 88 | Milwaukee Bucks 104