3 things to watch as Milwaukee Bucks visit Cleveland Cavaliers

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 06: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 06: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks; Jrue Holiday. Cleveland Cavaliers: Darius Garland.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – DECEMBER 06: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Riding a three-game win streak and coming off of a three-day break, the Milwaukee Bucks are back in action tonight on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the third of four meetings with their division rivals, having split the first two already.

The most recent game between these teams saw the Cavs blow out the Bucks 119-90 in mid-December but the rather large caveat is that only two regular rotation players for the Bucks played in that game (George Hill, Pat Connaughton). The Cavs were also without star rookie Evan Mobley as well as Isaac Okoro, so there’s not much that can be taken away from that game.

The Bucks are expected to be at near full strength tonight, with only Grayson Allen expected to be out as he is serving his one-game suspension (Brook Lopez is also out, but that’s a given).

The dual between potential All-Star guards Jrue Holiday and Darius Garland

We were robbed of round two between Jrue Holiday and Darius Garland in that mid-December matchup as Holiday missed that game, but we’ll get to see these two go at it tonight and I couldn’t be more excited.

I’ve been very clear about Holiday being an All-Star this season with how he has scored efficiently while playing at a first-team All-Defense level at that end of the floor as well. There’s an argument that he’s been one of the five best point guards this season.

I also have been firm in my belief that Garland should join Holiday as an East All-Star because of his breakout season for the upstart Cavs. He’s averaging nearly 20 points and over eight assists per game this season (both career-highs) and has Cleveland squarely in a playoff spot.

Garland was held in check when these two played for the first time this season back on December 6th. The 21-year-old had 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting (tied for his worst shooting game of the season) as well as four turnovers. When guarded by Holiday, Garland was 1-of-6 with a turnover, per NBA.com/stats.

Holiday, on the other hand, had 20 points on 66.7 percent true shooting with seven rebounds and eight assists.

The veteran got the better of the third-year pro, but Garland is a supremely talented offensive player that does a lot for the Cavs’ offense, especially with the injuries to Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio. This is definitely one of the matchups I’m watching closest.