The Spurs narrowly escaped Milwaukee with a 97-96 win last month, pulling ahead in the final seconds on a Giannis Antetokounmpo goaltending violation. But the game may be better remembered for notorious enforcer Davis Bertans earning what may have been the first ejection for a Spurs player since Joey Crawford challenged Tim Duncan to fisticuffs.
That dust-up is somewhat representative of the game itself, a scrappy affair with neither team able to create any separation. The Spurs lost Tony Parker midway through it to a leg injury and, while Nicolas Laprovittola stepped in nicely, Patty Mills went 0-for-8 from the field and the offense really missed the vision and flow that Parker provides.
The Bucks have been fine this season (especially considering the absence of Khris Middleton), but inconsistency and poor play down the stretch of games (they’re dead last in clutch plus-minus) has held them back. They own the fourth-best net rating in the East (+2.1), but are currently tied for the eight seed at 18-18.
Injuries won’t help matters, and the Bucks will be pretty banged up as they come into San Antonio. The good news for them: Antetokounmpo, who missed his last game due to illness, is expected to play.
San Antonio Spurs (30-7) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (18-18)
Jan. 10, 2016 | 7:30 CST
Watch: FSSW; Listen: 1200 AM WOAI
UPDATE: Spurs injuries: LaMarcus Aldridge will sit out with gastroenteritis
Spurs not listing David Lee, who apparently came out of today's practice unscathed https://t.co/FDOz8yyhMy— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) January 9, 2017
Bucks injuries: Khris Middleton (hamstring), Giannis Antetokounmpo (illness), Miles Plumlee (finger), Michael Beasley (shin), Rashad Vaughn (ankle)
At 24, Brogdon’s an older rookie, which makes it hard to say if we’ll see him improve significantly over where he’s at now. He’s not going to overwhelm opponents with his athleticism, and he doesn’t always look like a natural fit at the 1.
That being said, he’s proved to be a complete steal as the 36th pick in the 2016 draft, stepping in as a solid secondary point guard this year, providing playmaking and scoring punch to a team that needs both. He’s scored in double digits in six straight games, including a triple-double against Chicago and a career-high 22 points in their Sunday loss to Washington. If Joel Embiid hadn’t sat out last season, Brogdon might be getting a good hard look as Rookie of the Year (yes, this is a pretty weak rookie class).
The Mamba’s back
Fresh off his official retirement announcement, Matt Bonner will be making his debut in the FSSW studio before and after tonight’s game. Bonner is smart and hilarious, and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t quickly become one of the more watchable TV personalities around the league.
Vegas line: Spurs by 10.
Game prediction: Spurs by 13.
For the Bucks fans’ perspective, visit Brew Hoop.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher.
PtR's Gamethread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. You can also follow along with the action through PtR's Twitter feed.