3 things to watch as Milwaukee Bucks look to sweep Sacramento Kings

Jan 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday. Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes.
Apr 3, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) /

How will the big man minutes be allocated tonight for the Milwaukee Bucks?

Speaking of Mr. Portis, he will be involved in the thing I’ll be paying the most attention to in this one: how will Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer allocate the big man minutes?

In Brook Lopez’s return, he played around 14 and a half minutes while Serge Ibaka was relegated to seven minutes and change. Portis remained in the starting lineup and that will likely be the case at least for the next couple of games as Lopez works his way back.

I found it very interesting that Ibaka played only seven minutes, though. He had played well lately and looked more comfortable at both ends after having played more games with his new teammates.

The Jazz aren’t a team with an overwhelming amount of size, with only Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside (played 16 minutes against the Bucks) as their true bigs. It’s also been shown that one of the keys to beating them is by playing smaller and forcing their weak perimeter defenders to try to keep their man in front of them.

The Kings have more bigs (Domantas Sabonis, Trey Lyles, Richaun Holmes) that will play in this one, so perhaps we see more Ibaka tonight.

This was my concern after the Ibaka trade, though. That he would turn into a player who would only play in specific matchups. It remains to be seen if that will continue to be the case or if it was simply a one-off against the Jazz, but I’ll have my eyes on the big man rotations tonight.

Lopez looked solid and seemed to be pretty mobile considering he’s coming off of back surgery and his minutes will only continue to rise if he continues to look like that.

Next. 3 reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks should start Brook Lopez. dark

I’ve long said that the Bucks will be hard-pressed to win a title without a relatively healthy Lopez so last game was a great sign that he could be relatively healthy come playoff time.