Milwaukee Bucks: 3 keys to victory when hosting New Orleans Pelicans

Jan 29, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, New Orleans Pelicans: Lonzo Ball
Jan 29, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks will aim to make it four wins in a row as they host the New Orleans Pelicans for a star-studded rematch at Fiserv Forum Thursday night.

New Orleans got the best of the Bucks in their first meeting of the season on January 29 in a 131-126 defeat for Milwaukee. Since then, the Pelicans have gone just 7-7 and have been unable to find any steady rhythm. However, momentum has started to shift in their favor recently by winning two straight games against the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons.

More from Bucks News

The Bucks have also been able to find their footing lately by winning their last three games following a grueling five-game losing skid.

Their most recent victory came against the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves, a game where the Bucks scored a season-high 139 points en route to a 27 point victory. Now, they shift their focus on tying up the regular season series against a formidable foe in the Pelicans.

If the first meeting of the season between these two teams is any indication of how things could go, this matchup could be a tall task for the Bucks. With that being said, here are three keys to victory for the Bucks as they host the New Orleans Pelicans.

First key to victory when hosting New Orleans Pelicans — Milwaukee Bucks need to limit opponent second chance opportunities

The Bucks have been relatively good at taking away second chance scoring opportunities from their opponents this season as they allow 11.7 opponent second chance points per game, which is tied for fourth, per

Keeping that consistent will be critical as they welcome in a New Orleans team that takes full advantage when they get extra chances to put points on the board. The Pelicans are currently second in second chance points this year, putting up 15.1 points per game courtesy of these opportunities.

A large portion of this success stems from their ability to haul in offensive rebounds at such a high level. New Orleans is leading the league in both 11.6 offensive rebounds per game and offensive rebounding percentage at 30.7, all of which is largely thanks to the efforts of their frontcourt tandem, Steven Adams and Zion Williamson. Adams is third in total offensive rebounds this season among players with 122, and Williamson ranks 20th with 72 of his own.

These two have helped the Pelicans put a significant amount of extra points on the board thanks to their rebounding on the offensive end, and the Bucks must do their part to keep them in check. The Bucks have been among the best rebounding teams in the association this season, but they will be put to the test tonight.