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Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks game preview

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo.

There. I wrote it without looking up the spelling (you’ll just have to trust me, but I promise). So I feel like I can call him Giannis or Greek Freak without it feeling like a cop out. Cool?

Frankly, I could just say “Greek Freak” and leave the preview at that, considering that he is pretty much all any casual fan knows about the Milwaukee Bucks. Obviously we’re a little more professional here (sometimes), so I’ll keep it classy and do my duty. Teehee duty sounds like doody. Okay, last one I swear.

After beating the Spurs in San Antonio and then taking down the Miami Heat, Milwaukee has lost their last two contests in Atlanta and at home to the suddenly feisty and quite game 76ers.

So there are two teams tonight looking for a win to get back on track. For Houston, they are seeing their chances at the 2 seed slipping with every loss and if one of the next 4 teams get hot, the Rockets could slip. In Milwaukee’s case, they’re in the crowded 5-9 spots in the East, where 5 teams are within 1.5 games of each other. Win a couple of games and you’re the Hawks cruising in fourth place. Lose a few and you might find yourself looking over your shoulder for Philly.

The Bucks lead the league in points in the paint, which doesn’t bode well for Houston after last night’s debacle. Milwaukee is eighth in the NBA in offensive efficiency and true shooting percentage. That makes sense given that they like to take the ball into the paint. They are second overall in assist rate, too.

Milwaukee is big and athletic, and it’s not just Antetokounmpo. Jabari Parker developed an NBA body quickly and Tony Snell is a long wing defender. Rookie Malcolm Brogdon has been a revelation and at 6-5 is another long wing defender that the Bucks can put on Harden. And just to make sure they’re long all across the board, John Henson starts in the middle for them.

Greg Monroe comes off their bench, along with Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic. But the real draw here are former Rockets Michael Beasley and Propeller Plane. I called the latter by his name for a while, but I always had that dislike in my heart. So he’s Propeller Plane again. The over/under of times he pretends to be a plane is 1.5.

The Rockets really need Clint Capela tonight. We’ll take the good with the bad. Even if it’s this bad (Link is SFW and worth your time, but turn the sound down).

Once again, the Rockets are on a back-to-back facing a team with a day off. That’s no excuse though, since this supposedly “evens out” over the course of a season. At least the game is in Houston.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on ESPN.

Check out Brew Hoop for the opponent’s perspective.