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Milwaukee Bucks

Wednesday Game Previews: Giannis, Bucks host D-Wade and the Heat; LeBron-less Lakers host the Bulls

MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo headlines the NBA's broadcast slate in India for Wednesday.
MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo headlines the NBA's broadcast slate in India for Wednesday. (Getty Images)

Miami Heat (21-20) vs Milwaukee Bucks (30-12)

Where to Watch

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16

Time: 6:30 AM IST

TV: Sony ESPN

Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

Game Preview

After playing nine of their last twelve at home at the AmericanAirlines Arena, the Miami Heat tip-off their four-game road trip by visiting the Milwaukee Bucks.

With the league's eighth-best defense, the Heat have restricted their opponents to under 100 points in 13 of their 21 wins with some noteworthy recent ones coming against the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Heat are missing their point guard Goran Dragic but they did welcome Dion Waiters back to the line-up recently. A large part of their season has been highlighted by it being the final year for 3-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade.

The jersey swapping has now become a tradition after every Heat game. Here's the latest one:

The hosts, Milwaukee Bucks, would be stiff competition for the Heat.

Holding the league's second-best record, the Bucks are the only team in the league to rank in the top 5 of the offensive (113.5 - 3rd) and defensive rating (104.4 - 3rd).

The Bucks have been fueled to their best franchise start in quite a while by their MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, who's averaging career-highs in rebounds (12.6), assists (5.9) and field-goal percentage (57.9%).

Over the span of one summer, when they appointed Mike Budenholzer as their new head coach, the Bucks have quickly adapted to the new-age NBA. They rank second in the league in 3-pointers made and attempted (second only to Houston in both categories) while forcing their opponents into the fifth-most mid-range shots in the league.

Game Notes

  • The Miami Heat have a winning road record of 10-8, the fourth-best in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks have among the best home records in the league at 18-4.
  • The Heat will surely miss Goran Dragic (Knee) while Josh Richardson (Knee) and Yante Maten (Ankle) are game-time decisions.
  • For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Quadriceps) and Dante DiVincenzo (Heel) are game-time decisions.

Last Time They Played

Date: Dec. 23, 2018

Score: Bucks 87-94 Heat

Bucks: Khris Middleton - 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Heat: James Johnson - 11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals on 55.6% shooting.


Chicago Bulls (10-33) vs Los Angeles Lakers (23-21)

Where to Watch

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16

Time: 9:00 AM IST

TV: Sony Ten 1

Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

Game Preview

As part of their 3-7 record without LeBron James, they have helped two Eastern Conference Teams in the New York Knicks (8) and Cleveland Cavaliers (12) snap their respective losing streaks at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

They have slipped from being tied for the fourth seed in the Western Conference, after their Christmas Day win against the Golden State Warriors, to the ninth seed, outside the West's current Playoff picture.

Without LeBron, the Los Angeles Lakers have the worst offense in the league with a rating of 100.4, shooting a league-worst 65.0% from the free-throw line and 29.2% from beyond the three-point line.

As per Shams Charania of the Athletic, LeBron James is set for a re-evaluation of his groin on Wednesday (Jan. 16) with Tuesday marking three weeks since he injured it.

Will the Lakers let another Eastern Conference team come to LA and snap their losing streak at the Staples Center?

This is beyond prediction.

Despite the Chicago Bulls' dismal numbers, nothing can be predicted for their contest with the Lakers, as the Cavaliers and Knicks also didn't have a lot of their momentum on their side coming to their contest with the purple and gold franchise.

Zach LaVine, a candidate for the Most Improved Player Award, is averaging career-highs of 23.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists on 45.7% shooting but otherwise, the Bulls' season doesn't have a lot of numbers to show for.

The Bulls have the league's worst offense (100.9) and a 23rd ranked defense (110.9), keeping the Bulls at 13th in the East standings. They have four losing streaks of 4 or more including the current one of seven straight defeats.

Game Notes

  • The visiting Chicago Bulls have a dismal road record of 5-17.
  • On the other hand, the Lakers have a 14-9 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
  • The Bulls are only set to have Denzel Valentine (Ankle - out for the season) to miss this game.
  • Meanwhile, the Lakers are missing two key veterans in LeBron James (Groin) and Rajon Rondo (Hand).

Last Time They Played

Date: Jan. 27, 2018

Score: Lakers 108-103 Bulls

Lakers: Julius Randle - 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists on 55.6% shooting.

Bulls: Denzel Valentine - 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists on 54.5% shooting.

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