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Thunder vs Bucks Gamethread and preview: All-Star Starters Antetokounmpo and George face off in OKC

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Paul George looks to lead OKC to fifth straight win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Time: 5 P.M. CST

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena

Broadcast: ESPN, FSOK

Counterpart: Brew Hoop

***

In the last game of a three game home stand, the Thunder will host the first place Milwaukee Bucks. Both teams enter this game looking to extend their respective winning streaks. Oklahoma City is currently on a four game win streak, while the Bucks have won six in a row and have led the Eastern Conference for much of the season so far.

Milwaukee poses a different type of challenge for the Thunder’s defense. The Bucks center Brook Lopez leads their team with six, three pointers attempted per game. It will be interesting to see if Lopez can draw Steven Adams out of the paint, leaving the Thunder vulnerable on the glass and with a lane open for Giannis to attack.

In a game featuring some the NBA’s best, there is plenty to look forward to.

Key matchups

  • Paul George vs Giannis Antetokounmpo

Both George and Antetokounmpo are MVP candidates thus far this season. Antetokounmpo is at the top of the MVP ballot, while George is a dark horse candidate for the award.

Since George is Oklahoma City’s best defender, it will be his duty to try and slow Antetokounmpo down on the perimeter. This will be no easy task given that Antetokounmpo is has about four inches in height over George. Look for George to try and force Antetokounmpo to have to dribble his way to the basket, instead of getting easy low post touches.

On the other end of the court, George will look to continue his 30ppg average he’s had over this winning streak. During this four game winning streak, George is scoring 30 points per game.

  • Russell Westbrook vs Eric Bledsoe

We have another potential all star matchup at the point guard positio, as both Westbrook and Bledsoe could make the all star teams as reserves. Westbrook is more likely to do so, since once again he is averaging a triple-double, but there is case to be made for Bledsoe to make the team.

Westbrook and Bledsoe play in a very similar fashion. They’re both ultra aggressive attacking the basket due to their strength. Also, both distribute the ball best when they drive and then kick out to shooters.

What makes this matchup intriguing to watch is that it could get chippy. Westbrook and Bledsoe are both physical and tend to try and bully their opposing counterpart. As we seen earlier this week, Westbrook is not afraid of a little confrontation:

Flashback

Last season, the Bucks received a gift when Giannis was not called out of bounds on this game-winning drive.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Thunder
    (61 votes)
  • 42%
    Bucks
    (46 votes)
107 votes total Vote Now