Milwaukee Bucks Road Trip Wraps Up in Utah

The Milwaukee Bucks lost yet another road game on Tuesday night to the Trail Blazers. On Friday, they play their last road game before the All-Star break, as they visit the Utah Jazz.

The Milwaukee Bucks started off cold against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. To their credit, after the first quarter, they rallied and were even within one point about halfway through the third quarter. Unfortunately, that was as close as they would get with the Blazers closing out a double digit win.

That leaves the Bucks with one last road game on their schedule before the All-Star break and it’s against the Utah Jazz. Unlike the Bucks, the Jazz have been playing good ball lately, winning four straight and five of their last six.

I watched their last game, a win on Wednesday night over the Denver Nuggets. It was a tough, low scoring game that the Jazz ended up winning by three. In the game Derrick Favors had 16 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.

With Favors and Rudy Gobert, it’s no wonder that the Jazz have the third best defense in the league. It will be very interesting to me to see what kind of offense the Bucks will generate on Friday. They don’t shoot threes and they will have a hard time finishing at the rim. It might be a long night.

Utah’s most important player is Gordon Hayward. I absolutely love his game and I think he’s been a top 10 player in the Western Conference this season. Unsurprisingly, head coach Quin Snyder leans heavily on Hayward in crunch time.

Jan 22, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) saves the ball from going out of bounds during the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Utah won 101-99. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

In Wednesday’s win over the Nuggets, Hayward was the one to bring the ball up the court and initiate the offense. He showed great composure winding the clock down and driving to the rim, absorbing contact and getting to the free throw line.

The Jazz as a franchise have a very bright near future. They have a lot of young talent and a young but well respected coach in Quin Snyder. Injuries have been their biggest nemesis this season with Dante Exum missing the entire season and Alec Burks due back shortly after the All-Star break.

Is there one role player that you have a potentially irrational love for? I do and his name is Trevor Booker. I really enjoy watching him play and seeing the effort that he continually puts out. He’s never going to have a crazy point total, but his motor is high and he consistently crashes the boards, (now that I’m typing this out, it might explain why I want Plumlee to get more minutes for the Bucks).

This is the last chance for the Bucks to snag a road victory before the All Star break. As trade rumors begin to swirl, it’s fair to wonder what kind of team the Bucks will be not only for the rest of this season but next. For Friday night’s game, I haven’t seen anything in the Bucks offensive strategy that would lead me to thinking that they can beat the Jazz.

BTBP Predictions

Mike Helm: Jazz by 13

Adam McGee: Jazz by 7

Ti Windisch: Jazz by 7

Jordan Treske: Jazz by 10

Season Leaderboard To Date (Record and Points Differential)

Mike Helm: (32-19) 588 points

Adam McGee: (30-21) 567 points

Ti Windisch: (31-20) 584 Points

Jordan Treske: (30-21) 645 points

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