Milwaukee Bucks: 3 keys to victory when visiting OKC Thunder

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: D.J. Wilson, OKC Thunder: Steven Adams, Jerami Grant
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 10 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks will conclude their lengthy six-game road swing on Sunday night with a matchup against the OKC Thunder.

Milwaukee was on a roll throughout the first three games of the trip, winning each game by a sizeable amount. However, they have now dropped two straight games, most recently to the Utah Jazz Friday night. Although they are still afloat with a 16-10 overall record, they desperately need to get back into the win column Sunday night.

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Meanwhile, OKC’s roster will look far different than it did when they last faced off against Milwaukee on February 28, 2020, right before the season shutdown last year. This team went through a significant retooling this offseason, trading away key veteran contributors such as Chris Paul, Dennis Schröder, and Steven Adams, among others.

Shifting to a full-on youth movement, the Thunder have embraced their young core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, and others. Leading up to this matchup, the Thunder have lost their last three consecutive games and currently sitting at 14th place in the Western Conference standings with a 10-15 record.

Still, this Thunder team is under-the-radar good despite their record, and they could be a challenging opponent for the struggling Bucks. If Milwaukee will close out their road trip with a win, here are three keys to victory in OKC that they should look to hit on.

First key to victory when visiting OKC Thunder — Milwaukee Bucks need to capitalize on second chance opportunities

The Bucks have been a juggernaut on the offensive end this season, and part of this stems from their ability to convert on second chance opportunities. Currently racking up 14.5 second chance points per game this season, the Bucks rank third in the entire association in that department.

Keeping that trend consistent will be a crucial factor for Milwaukee against the OKC Thunder, as their opponents have flourished on these extra opportunities this season. OKC’s opponents have scored an average of 14.2 second chance points this season, which is the third-largest mark in the league. With numbers like that, the Bucks must emphasize not leaving empty opportunities on the offensive end when fortunate enough to get a second chance.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis have been great grabbing offensive rebounds this season to help create these chances. Keep an eye out for the Bucks to crash the offensive glass against the Thunder tonight.