Giannis Antetokounmpo may get a much-needed night off Saturday night when the Bucks travel to Portland to take on Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers. Antetokounmpo has been dealing with back soreness recently, and that was visible Friday night as he was held to a season-low 13 points in a win over Sacramento. It’s possible that the Bucks will give him a rest on the second night of a back-to-back. Milwaukee, who is off to their best 40-game start in franchise history, looks to finish off their road trip on a high note with a win in Portland.
Milwaukee was able to get by the Kings on Friday night largely without Giannis, as Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe carried the load with 27 and 24 points respectively. Donte DiVincenzo also contributed some good minutes with 18 points on 4-6 shooting from deep in the win.
Portland has had somewhat of a rollercoaster season, as they have not lived up to expectations after making the Western Conference Finals last season. They’re still led by their dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, although their surrounding pieces have not nearly been as good this year. The Blazers will look to rebound from a 116-102 loss in Minnesota Thursday night.
This is the second meeting this season between the two teams. Milwaukee won the first matchup 137-129 at Fiserv Forum in November.
MIL: Bledsoe, Matthews, Middleton, G. Antetokounmpo*, B. Lopez
POR: Lillard, McCollum, Bazemore, Anthony, Whiteside
Injuries: Ersan Ilyasova is questionable with a knee injury for Milwaukee. Skal Labissiere and Jusuf Nurkic are out for Portland while Mario Hezonja and Hassan Whiteside are questionable.
Time and TV: 9:00 PM CT on FS Wisconsin
The spread: MIL -5.5
Prediction: If Giannis can’t go, then I can see this being a very tight contest. If Lillard and McCollum get hot it may be hard for Milwaukee to keep up. However, I still think the Bucks have enough to get it done on the road. Bucks 112, Trail Blazers 105