3 keys for Milwaukee Bucks high profile matchup vs Golden State Warriors

Dec 25, 2020; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2020; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry, James Wiseman
Dec 25, 2020; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports) /

Having lost four of their last five games, the Milwaukee Bucks would benefit from a home game against a lower-tier opponent to help iron out some of the issues that have plagued them the last few games. Well, too bad!

Instead, they will play the team with the second-best record in the Golden State Warriors. The good news is that the game is at home, but the bad news is that, well, it’s against the Warriors and the Bucks will still be missing a couple of key bodies (especially for this particular matchup).

Milwaukee has gone 3-2 against Golden State in the last three seasons with tonight being their first meeting of the 2021-22 season. Of course, the Warriors didn’t have Klay Thompson for three of those games and he (very likely) will be playing tonight after making his return last week.

How will the Milwaukee Bucks defend Stephen Curry?

The biggest question surrounding any game for any team that faces the Warriors is how you guard and try to contain Steph Curry. Even without the ball, he’s one of the most dangerous players in the league because he can essentially shoot from anywhere.

He’s having a down year relative to what we have come to expect from Curry, especially from an efficiency standpoint. The former MVP is averaging nearly 27 points per game on 59 percent true shooting and it is the first year of his career that he has shot below 40 percent from 3 (except for the year he played five games, but that doesn’t count).

Regardless, he is the offensive system for the Warriors, and having Thompson back will open up looks for him. So, that is the big challenge facing the Bucks tonight and their answer isn’t as easy as it should be.

Jrue Holiday is listed as doubtful for tonight with left ankle soreness and backup point guard George Hill is listed as out while he’s still in health and safety protocols. The good news is that Grayson Allen is expected to be back tonight, so that’s a body that can be thrown Curry’s way.

The best thing that the Bucks can do is to be physical with Curry both on and off the ball. There isn’t one player who will get the Curry assignment like Holiday would, so the best players like Allen, Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo, Wesley Matthews, and Pat Connaughton can do is to be physical in hopes to disrupt him.