Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 16th 2023

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The Milwaukee Bucks will aim for their third consecutive win and eighth in 10 games on Saturday when they host a Detroit Pistons team mired in a franchise-record, 22-game losing streak.

Detroit’s woes lengthened Friday in the first leg of a weekend back-to-back. The Philadelphia 76ers went wire-to-wire in a 124-92 rout as the Pistons surpassed the franchise-worst skid of 21 games set late in the 1979-80 season and early in the 1980-81 season.

The margin topped out at 41 points. Just one Pistons starter scored in double figures: Bojan Bogdanovic with 17 points. James Wiseman led the team with 20 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.

Cade Cunningham, whose average of 22 points per game coming into Friday’s contest set the pace for Detroit, finished with just four points on 2-of-9 shooting from the floor vs. Philadelphia.

“It’s deflating,” Detroit coach Monty Williams said postgame. “When you hold a team like that to 26 points (in the first quarter), you’ve got to capitalize. You’ve got to hit some shots. That’s going to help you set your defense.”

The Pistons rank 28th in the NBA in scoring offense at 108.1 points per game — well off Milwaukee’s pace of 123.3 points per game, good for second in the league.

Despite the discrepancies in scoring between the teams, plus Detroit’s historic run of futility, Milwaukee coach Adrian Griffin emphasized his team’s need to execute on Saturday.

“Our focus now is on Detroit. It’s easy when you look at their record (to overlook the Pistons), but they have a lot of good players,” Griffin said Friday. “I watch the Detroit games. They’re in these games. They’ve got really good talent.

“You’ve got to respect the game, and you’ve got to respect your opponent. When you do that, you give yourself a chance. When you don’t, this league has a way of … bringing you back down to reality.”

Milwaukee’s latest game was a 140-126 triumph over the visiting Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a franchise-record 64 points, shooting 20-for-28 from the floor and 24-for-32 at the free-throw line.

Antetokounmpo became the first player in NBA history to make 20-plus field goals and free throws in the same game while shooting better than 70 percent on each. He also produced game-high totals with 14 rebounds and four steals.

Milwaukee avenged its 128-119 loss to the Pacers on Dec. 7 in an NBA in-season tournament semifinal contest in Las Vegas.

Antetokounmpo was “feeling a little bit under the weather” on Friday, Griffin told reporters. The coach added he believe Antetokounmpo “will be fine and ready to go” on Saturday.

The former two-time Most Valuable Player is averaging 32 points per game to pace the Bucks’ potent offense.

Six Milwaukee players average at least 11.6 points per game, including Damian Lillard at 24.8. Khris Middleton, who is averaging 12.5 points a game, will be rested on Saturday, Griffin said.

The Saturday contest is the first in a back-to-back set for the Bucks, who will face the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Milwaukee is on a six-game homestand that began Monday with a 133-129 overtime win against the Chicago Bulls.

–Field Level Media

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