As we talk about the Warriors re-imagining modern basketball, it's easy to forget that somewhere in the upper Midwest there's a seven-footer playing point guard, creating in the pick and roll, delivering wrap-around passes and casually Euro-stepping from the three-point line to the rim.
The numbers don’t like it when Giannis Antetokounmpo and fellow rising star Jabari Parker (they’re both still just 21!) share the floor, which is likely due to teams just packing the paint against them. Not having shooting guard Khris Middleton kills their spacing, and Tony Snell (who they acquired for Michael Carter-Williams) is hitting below 30% of his treys, while attempting almost six a game.
Still, the Spurs will have their hands full with a team that combines incredible physical tools with the ability to excel in the open floor and a system that stresses ball movement. This should be a fun one.
San Antonio Spurs (16-4) at Milwaukee Bucks (10-8)
Dec. 5, 2016 | 7:00 CST
Watch: FSSW | NBA League Pass
Listen: 1200 AM WOAI
Spurs injuries: Tony Parker (knee)
Bucks injuries: Kris Middleton (hamstring)
Spurs on the road again
The Spurs are somehow, someway 11-0 away from the AT&T Center thus far. In case you’re curious, the NBA record for best away winning streak to start a season is 14 and the overall record is 16.
Bucks have length for days
A frontcourt of Antetokounmpo, Parker and Henson gives the Bucks a backline that can switch on the perimeter and disrupt things inside. The Spurs offense has been prone to stretches of stagnant iso ball at times, but they’ll be better off keeping the ball moving and looking to break down a Milwaukee defense that hasn’t been all that sharp at times this season.
Milwaukee’s depth issues
No team with postseason aspirations should be giving big minutes to the ghost of Jason Terry (who’s got a 5.4 PER), and yet that’s the situation the Bucks are in. And really, aside from throwback big man Greg Monroe, occasional gunner Mirza Teletovic and promising rookie Malcolm Brogdon, this is a thin roster that gives coach Jason Kidd minimal flexibility to match up with good teams.
The Bucks will be a challenge, and I don’t think either team runs away with this one. My guess is this is a close game, and since I just wrote about San Antonio’s success in winning those, I’ll give them the (very biased) edge.
Vegas line: Spurs by 5.5.
Game prediction: Spurs by 3.
For the Bucks fans' perspective, visit Brew Hoop.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher.
As always, PtR's Gamethread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. But if you're not able to log in here, you can try the Fanvana app which helps connect sports fans and was created by a fellow Spurs fan. Check out the free app on iOS or Android to discover other Spurs fans and join the live chatter for tonight's game. You can follow PtR's tweet stream directly on Fanvana as the game unfolds.