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: Jordan Nwora, Pat Connaughton
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – DECEMBER 15: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The final auditions for the Milwaukee Bucks ahead of the trade deadline

This isn’t so much of a key for this game, but a general thing to look out for in this one.

Tonight’s game will be the Bucks’ last before the trade deadline on Thursday (though they will play that night), so it’s the final auditions for the Bucks’ trade pieces and the team as a whole.

Yes, general manager Jon Horst has likely already made up his mind on what he thinks the team needs, but a nice performance from someone like Jordan Nwora (if he gets minutes) could help boost his trade value while a nice game from someone like Greg Monroe could help convince them to hang onto him beyond his 10-day contract.

The frontcourt depth has been a major talking point… well, basically all season and even before that! It was expected to be thin, but the Bucks have been at their best when they have an extra rotation big to play alongside Bobby Portis.

When Portis plays without another big (so no Antetokounmpo, Monroe, Brook Lopez, or DeMarcus Cousins), those lineups have a plus-1.4 net rating. When he’s with any other big not named Antetokounmpo, those lineups are plus-3.3, per Cleaning the Glass (subscription required). It’s not a huge difference, but it’s still something to note.

The Bucks don’t have the best trade assets by any means, especially if they don’t want to move DiVincenzo, but it’s enough that they could scoop up a solid rotational big or cut someone (like Rodney Hood or Semi Ojeleye) to make room for someone (like Thaddeus Young or Robin Lopez) that gets bought out.

Although this hypothetical big man may not play much in the playoffs and when Lopez returns, it’ll be nice to have a consistent bridge for when Lopez does eventually return.

Next. 3 reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks will have a quiet trade deadline. dark

The buzz has been understandably quiet around the defending champs this deadline, but that could always change as we inch closer and closer.