How will the Milwaukee Bucks distribute their big man minutes against the Brooklyn Nets?
All of a sudden, the Milwaukee Bucks’ frontcourt depth is very thin once again! Following the release of DeMarcus Cousins, the Bucks are left with Bobby Portis, Sandro Mamukelashvili, and Luke Kornet tonight.
This would also include Giannis Antetokounmpo if he is available to play, but still, it’s a thin frontcourt. I have a few thoughts on the Cousins release, most of which are largely indifferent in the grand scheme of things, but in the short term, it creates a bit of a problem.
Sure, the Nets aren’t the most size-heavy team, but they have guys who can finish around the basket (Durant, Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge).
It doesn’t help that their primary center for this game hasn’t played against the Nets since Game 4 of the second round of the playoffs back in June. The only big man who is guaranteed to be available for tonight that played against the Nets on opening night is Mamukelashvili and he played seven minutes.
Now, would DeMarcus Cousins have made a big difference in that regard? No, but it will be interesting to see how they handle the rotations now that he won’t be on the team tonight. We may actually see Kornet get minutes!
It will also feature more small-ball lineups and that could mean seeing Semi Ojeleye get some action for the first time since December 23rd. Ojeleye has played three games since November 20th.
With or without Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are going to be in for a long night defending the rim against the Nets and could see them lose three-straight games for the first time since the end of October.
It was always clear that the Bucks’ priority was optimizing their roster for the playoffs at the cost of a few wins in the regular season. Releasing Cousins is another indicator that is certainly the case.