LA Clippers host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rolling Milwaukee Bucks

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 27: Lou Williams
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 27: Lou Williams /

The LA Clippers look to get back on track with a visiting Milwaukee Bucks, who are fresh off a blowout win against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

The LA Clippers will look to get back to their early winning ways this afternoon against the Milwaukee Bucks.

At 9-2, the Bucks currently own the best record in the Eastern Conference, which may come as a surprise to some fans of the league. Led by early MVP candidate (and potential frontrunner) Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks boast the league’s second-best offense and a top-10 defense.

We keep mentioning games being a litmus test for the Clippers, and this one is no different. The Bucks have some quality wins against top-tier teams (though a few of those teams stars were not playing), and they are a very well-coached team.

The Clippers will get a better idea where they are at and how far away they are from competing as a top team. The Bucks are one of the hottest teams in the league and the Clippers have been uneven the last five games. This team has their work cut out for them because the Bucks come in ranked first in three-pointers attempted at 40.5 a game, and ranked first in threes taken 15 a game. They also make the sixth-most at 15 a game.

Slow down the Greek Freak

The Bucks scored 83 points in the paint their last game against the Warriors who they beat by 23 and scored 41 points in the 3rd quarter. The Clippers need to protect the paint at all costs and need the bucks to take contested longer twos and threes.

Gravity is a fun word to use with a player and Antetokounmpo has this gravity about him but instead of players moving toward him, he blows by them and they are trying to catch up. While he dunks in two steps from the three-point line. That is going to pull the team with him if he’s able to penetrate the lane.

The team is going to have to guard Antetokounmpo by committee, it will help to use different looks and switch it up on him to try to disrupt the flow.

Antetokounmpo is averaging 4.7 turnovers a game and the Clippers are smart and if they can get in front of him and trap him early can force someone else to beat you instead of someone making 77.1% from within three feet. Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari will likely take turns trying to slow down and keep him in front of them and pushing him out further to take long contested twos.

The centers will be important

Boban Marjanovic is a great playing close to the rim but he is not very quick and Brook Lopez is sitting out on the three-point line to give space to attack the paint. Lopez isn’t the fastest either so maybe Boban can contest with his length but expect Montrezl Harrell to get a lot of playing time because the Bucks run and get out in transition.

The Clippers can get out and defend well in transition especially with Harrell in the line up, but Boban might get a bit winded and have to take a break which might get Macin Gortat who has not played in three games a change to defend and score with fresh legs. It will be a test but if the Clippers bring Clamp City it’s very possible it’s a competitive game.

Expect a fun one

The LA Clippers score collaboratively, and I can easily see Harris and Gallinari both scoring 20+ and Lou Williams leading the bench. The team can score and they will need to do a lot of that and slow down the pace to keep the teams in a half court defense because if they can’t control the pace the bucks will be running.

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The Clippers have a team strong with good smart defenders so expect it to be a fight all 48 minutes.