Related Tags: The Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks have cruised to the best record in the NBA, at 48-16 and 25-5 at home. They host then Eastern Conference's 10th seeded Charlotte Hornets, who are 29-35 and 9-21 on the road. Milwaukee has won two of the first three meetings this season.
Not surprisingly, the Bucks have the edge in nearly every major statistical category. They lead the NBA in rebounding, second in scoring, ninth in fewest points allowed, eighth in assist to turnover ratio and in the middle of the pack in turnovers and three point shooting. The Hornets are near the bottom in rebounding and middle of the road in most other categories. One edge they have is in turnovers. They lead in fewest turnovers and taking care of the ball is vital for them to have a shot at an upset victory.
The Hornets rely on All-Star Kemba Walker, who averages 25 points and 5.8 assists per game. He is capable of taking over the game, so the Bucks will look to contain him. Jeremy Lamb is a solid second option, dropping 15 points per game. Marvin Williams can hurt opponents from long range, hitting 37 percent from beyond the arc. Cody Zeller, Nicholas Batum, Malik Monk and Tony Parker round out the unit averaging around double digits per game.
Front runner for the league MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks averaging 27 points, 12.6 rebounds and six assists per night. Fellow All-Star Khris Middleton adds 18 points and six rebounds, while Malcom Brogdon (16.2 points) and Eric Bledsoe (15.9 points) give the Bucks four legitimate scoring options. Add in the presence of newly acquired Nikola Mirotic and Brook Lopez and the Bucks are a handful to defend even when the starters are not in the game.
The Hornets have a lot to play for, striving to reach the number eight seed in the conference. The three games have been decided by a total of 13 points, so look for another solid effort from Charlotte. However, the Bucks are the number one team for a reason. They pose too many threats for the Hornets to overcome. Milwaukee will win to keep hold of top seed in the conference.