3 keys in Milwaukee Bucks intriguing matchup vs Los Angeles Lakers

Nov 17, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 17, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday. Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James
Jan 21, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

It’s crazy how quickly the narrative around a team can shift through the course of an 82-game season, huh? At the end of January, there was a lot of panic and stress coming off of a month with a losing record for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Fast forward to February 8th, they’ve won three straight games by a combined 67 points, have scored 137 points in back-to-back games, and all of those worries have slowly dissipated. Now they take on the Los Angeles Lakers, whose high-profile struggles this season have far exceeded any national concern about the Bucks, and are looking for a fourth straight win.

They beat the Lakers earlier this season in November as the first of an eventual eight-game win streak but things have changed a ton since then. There was also a very notable player who didn’t play in that one who should have a big impact in tonight’s final matchup between these two teams this season.

Can the Milwaukee Bucks limit LeBron James’ impact?

There was a chance that LeBron James would miss this game with an injury that caused him to miss five games, but he returned against the New York Knicks and promptly dropped 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. I think he’s ok, folks!

He’s been unbelievable all season, but before missing those five games with his injury, James had an 18-game stretch that saw him average 32.5 points on 63.4 percent true shooting, 9.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.3 blocks.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, they went 8-10 in those games as they were without Anthony Daivs for most of it but it goes to show you how incredible James is even at 37 years old. For all the Lakers’ struggles, James is still one of the three best players in the world and can single-handedly win games.

There’s no easy answer for James (if there was, he wouldn’t be LeBron James), but he’s going to have his fingerprints all over this one. We’ll likely see a plethora of players take turns guarding him, but it will mostly be up to Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Wesley Matthews to contain him as a scorer and as a passer.