3 things to watch in the Milwaukee Bucks division clash vs Indiana Pacers

Dec 15, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 15, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton. Indiana Pacers: Justin Holiday
Oct 25, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Is this a possible rest game for a couple of key Milwaukee Bucks?

After Giannis Antetokounmpo missed last night with an ankle injury, it’s fair to wonder if any other Bucks picked up a mystery injury or knock from that game and will need to sit out tonight.

This isn’t to say that Antetokounmpo’s ankle isn’t bothering him, but he was listed as probable going into yesterday before being downgraded to out. Coming off of a four-game road trip and having only missed two of the previous 23 games, he was due for some rest with how much he’s played recently.

A prime candidate for a rest game would be Khris Middleton. He’s played in 24 of the last 25 games and 19 straight. While that may not seem like a ton of consecutive games, he has also averaged around 33 minutes in those games.

He had a tough shooting night last night and played 36 minutes, so this could very well be a day of rest if the roster allows.

The Bucks have always prioritized rest and taking care of their player’s bodies. Injuries and illnesses have been able to give them some time off this season, but those aren’t the same as rest days or a simple night off.

Bobby Portis has played in every game since coming out of COVID protocols back in December (23 straight games) and is playing the most minutes per game of his career. Even Serge Ibaka could be a candidate if they’re worried about his back at all (though he has played in a few back-to-backs already this season).

However, with how shorthanded the Bucks are with injuries (George Hill, Connaughton) and open roster spots, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them gut it out and wait until they have a couple of reinforcements.

Or they’re pissed off from losing to a bad Blazers team and will want to get one back. Who knows!

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The Bucks have somewhat owned the Pacers in recent history, going 11-2 against them dating back to the 2018-19 season, and have won seven straight. Expect that streak to continue after tonight’s game.