Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns: Battle of the Rising Stars

Mar 26, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looks to pass the ball as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and center Alex Len (21) defend during the fourth quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center.  Milwaukee won 105-94.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns (16-34) v Milwaukee Bucks (21-28)

Saturday 2/4/2017 7pm
Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Fox Sports Arizona Plus/Arizona Sports 98.7FM

Season Series – Series Tied 0-0
All-Time Series – Phoenix leads 70-66
Last Matchup – March 30, 2016 Milwaukee Bucks won 105-94
Suns’ Last Game – Win over the Sacramento Kings 105-103
Bucks’ Last Game – Loss to the Denver Nuggets 121-117
Suns’ Scoring Averages – PTS/G: 106.5 (11th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 112.2 (29th of 30)
Bucks’ Scoring Averages – PTS/G: 104.6 (17th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 105.0 (13th of 30)

The Milwaukee Bucks visit the Phoenix Suns Saturday night as they look to break their five game losing streak.

The Suns just recovered from their own five game losing streak with a heroic Devin Booker fade-away buzzer beater to beat the Sacramento Kings. Booker was the man of the hour last night scoring 26 of his 33 points in the second half. The Suns can not bask in the victory for long as their first game of the season against the Bucks is only hours away.

The Bucks are on a skid which has currently taken them out of the playoffs. They now sit with a 21-28 record and 1.5 games back from the 8th seed Pistons. They are led by 21 year old Giannis Antetokounmpo, formally known as “The Greek Freak”.  Antetokounmpo is having an astounding season averaging  23.1 points 8.7 rebounds 5.5 assists 1.8 steals and 2 blocks per game. His partner in crime Jabari Parker is having a breakout season of his own averaging 20 points per game. The Bucks hope to gain some momentum before Kris Middleton return from a severe hamstring injury that has kept him out the entire season. The Bucks are 1-9 in their last 10 games.

The Suns have struggled since coming back from their east coast road trip with wins over the NY Knicks and Toronto Raptors going 1-5 since. The back court performances of Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker however have been All-Star caliber. Over the last 15 games Booker has averaging 26.3 points per game while shooting an astonishing 46.2% from three. Bledsoe is averaging 25.3 points per game with 7.4 assists over the same span. The Suns look to build momentum off their win over the Kings.

Key of the game: Ball Movement

The Bucks offense relies heavily on ball movement and rarely any isolation sets. So much so that their second leading scorer Jabari Parker is assisted on 67% of his field goals made and 98.4% of his three pointers made. Antetokounmpo has a lower rate of assisted field goals than Jabari at 45.5% but even so it is high than the league average for a 20+ point per game scorer.

The Suns on the other hand rely heavily on iso ball. Bledsoe is assisted on only 12% of his 2 point shots and 21 % of his overall shots made attempts. Booker is in the same boat; with 28% of his 2 point field goals coming from assist with 41% of his overall assisted on.

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