Blowout win could be in cards for one team when Bucks visit Pistons

When Milwaukee and Detroit meet for the first time Wednesday night you might say something has to give.

When the Bucks and Pistons win, they win big.

Detroit owns the largest margin of victory in the NBA, winning their games by an average of 17.8 points. Milwaukee is second on the list with a 15.5-point margin, thanks in part to back-to-back wins of 40+ points.

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Of course, the Pistons are 8-13 on the season and the Bucks 18-3.

Still, Detroit is 6-4 at home and only one loss was by more than six points. Milwaukee has lost just two games on the road, by three on a last-second shot at Utah and 11 at Boston. In other words, blowouts have been rare in defeat under these circumstances.

If last season means anything, though, things favor the Bucks. Milwaukee swept the 2018-19 season series against Detroit, winning by an average of 19.3 points per game – the fourth-highest margin of victory for any team vs. an opponent in NBA history (min. eight games, includes postseason).

So, what are the potential pitfalls for Milwaukee?

The Pistons will try and limit the Bucks’ 3-point attempts. Good luck with that, you say. After all, Milwaukee is third in the NBA in 3-point attempt rate (44.1%) and fifth in made 3s (14.1 per game).

Meanwhile, Detroit is allowing only 29.7 3s per game (second in the NBA) with 10.9 makes (fifth in the NBA) and its 33.9% opponent 3-point rate is second in the league.

The Pistons will hope to spread the ball around on offense as they are one of five teams to have four players averaging 15+ points per game: Blake Griffin (19.1), Andre Drummond (17.0), Luke Kennard (16.5) and Derrick Rose (16.0).

Griffin especially has found success against Milwaukee in his career. He’s just one of five players to average 20+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists (20.8-9.4-5.9) against the Bucks since 1983-84. Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, James Harden and LeBron James are the others.

Of course on the flip side, the Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning NBA player of the month is averaging 30.8 points on 56.5% shooting. Only three players in NBA history have topped 30 points per game while shooting better than 55% from the field – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (twice with Milwaukee) and Utah’s Adrian Dantley and Karl Malone.

If things go as they have been for Milwaukee, it will be the Bucks’ 13th straight victory which would tie the fourth-longest streak in franchise history and be the longest run for the team since the 1973-74 season.

Statistics courtesy Sportradar and basketball-reference.com