After ugly back-to-back losses this week, the Milwaukee Bucks look to get back on track against the Golden State Warriors. We caught up with Carlos Murillo to get the lowdown on the NBA’s most talked about team.
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Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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After consecutive poor performances on a back-to-back against the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat this week, the Milwaukee Bucks could be forgiven for craving the comforts of home.
On Saturday they return to the Bradley Center looking to get back on track, but the task couldn’t be any more difficult.
Making their sole visit to Milwaukee on the season, the star-studded Golden State Warriors will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s streak-busting Bucks win. With the game again coming on the second night of a back-to-back with the Warriors traveling from Boston, could the stars be aligned for a Milwaukee repeat, though?
Ahead of the action, we spoke to Golden State Warriors expert and friend of the site, Carlos Murillo, to find out exactly what to expect in the game, and to learn about what matchups we should be looking out for.
Adam McGee (@AdamMcGee11): It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the Warriors early in the season, which is understandable considering the sort of talent they’re trying to mesh. Still, there’s been a lot of talk about things starting to click into place for Golden State recently. Have you noticed that improvement?
Carlos Murillo (@LosMurillo126): It definitely looks like they’re starting to put it together. They’ve shown flashes of what they can be. There’s a couple things at play here. First, actually working out the rotations and getting all the new guys comfortable in the system is a challenge. The Warriors’ biggest problem might be complacency.
The Warriors realize how good they are and they don’t really unleash it until they need to, which can be really fun and frustrating. They did it against Boston, outscoring them 31-9 in the third quarter then they coasted in the fourth. They’re starting to figure it out.
Adam: The Bucks and Warriors had two really hard-fought games last season, with both teams winning on their home floors and, of course, the Bucks snapping the streak. Around those games there was some bad blood on both sides too. Considering the personality of this Warriors’ group, do you expect that to add some extra motivation on Saturday?
Carlos: When you only lose 9 games in a season, you’re going to remember every single one of those losses. So it’s possible the returning Warriors still resent Milwaukee for ending that streak.
I don’t imagine Stephen Curry or Andre Iguodala are really thinking about it though. Draymond Green, on the other hand, definitely will use last year as extra motivation. He takes losses personally and never forgets.
Adam: What’s your impression of Milwaukee’s current roster and how do you expect them to fare over the course of the season?
Carlos: The Bucks have an interesting roster. The Greek Freak is clearly incredible. Jabari Parker looks nice and, at 21, can hopefully improve his three-point shooting even more. I believe Delly was a good pickup; he’s won, played with LeBron James, and can provide leadership. Jason Kidd has a lot to think about, especially with Greg Monroe.
The Bucks can sneak into the playoffs, but they aren’t going to go far if they can’t shoot the three. I really wish Kris Middleton was healthy, but perhaps they’ll move Monroe for shooting.
Adam: If you were to single out one matchup as having the potential to be decisive between the Bucks and Warriors, what would it be and why?
Carlos: Giannis is a monster that can destroy dreams and eat souls. The Warriors and, especially, Steph Curry struggle with length. Curry probably won’t guard him, but on the other end, that could be problematic for Golden State.
The Dubs can be careless with the ball and they really need to tighten up if they don’t want the Greek Freak euro-stepping all over them in transition. The Warriors, though loaded, still need Steph to be in a rhythm to really flourish.
Adam: What’s your final prediction for how Saturday’s game between the two teams will play out?
Carlos: The Warriors might look to rest some players after their game in Boston. If they do decide to slap a DNP next to some of their stars’ names, then Milwaukee can very well steal the game. Everyone gets up for their games against the Warriors and the Bucks have done so better than most recently. I’m never going to bet against Steph Curry and Kevin Durant though.
The Warriors win this one in a game that’s much more tightly contested than the final score will indicate.