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Rockets vs. Bucks game preview: connected by a trade

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Houston Rockets Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks will play each other twice over the next 8 days. That’s great news for both teams. The Bucks are making a late push for the second seed in the East. They sit two games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for that spot, who are just one game behind the East-leading Brooklyn Nets.

Houston, of course, needs to keep racking up losses. With 10 games left on the schedule, Houston needs to go 4-6 or worse (h/t Orange88) to guarantee a bottom-3 finish. The Rockets would probably like to beat Portland for draft pick reasons, but Houston is playing ten games against playoff or fighting-for-their-playoff-hopes teams down the stretch. The odds are much better that Houston will go 0-10 than 4-6.

The two teams playing at Toyota Center have traded players and swapped picks. Houston will be able to swap their second round pick for Milwaukee’s first rounder. The Bucks’ pick will be determined by their finish in the playoffs, so today’s game won’t make much of a difference. The Bucks received P.J. Tucker via Houston, and the Rockets got D.J. Augustin and D.J. Wilson. Augustin is out with an injured ankle. The Rockets will also be without John Wall and Eric Gordon. Danuel House Jr. and Avery Bradley are questionable.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest