Giannis Antetokounmpo is making a robust case to repeat as the NBA MVP this season, but with the Milwaukee Bucks superstar recovering from a sprained left knee, he’ll miss Monday night’s game at the Denver Nuggets.
It’s hard to say whether or not having to worry about his 29.6 points and 13.7 bounces a game is a good thing for the perplexing Nuggets.
Denver defeated the Bucks in Milwaukee with Antetokounmpo playing at the end of January, one of the Nuggets’ breakthrough wins this season. However, that victory has been tempered by some bad losses.
The most recent was a 104-102 loss at Cleveland Saturday, giving the Cavaliers a sweep of the two games between the teams. That got here after blowing a 15-point lead at home against Golden State and losing by 16 Tuesday night.
The Nuggets are still ranking first in the Northwest Division with an opportunity of grabbing the #2 seed in the Western Conference; however, they’ve to fix their points if they wish to have a couple more rounds of home-court advantage.
The most urgent issue is their defense, which was top 10 before the All-Star break; however, it is ranked 25th in the eight games since.
Milwaukee is comfortably in charge of the top seed in the Eastern Conference so the larger concern is how long Antetokounmpo will sit.
Milwaukee has the talent to make up for Antetokounmpo’s absence in the short-interval, as was evident in the loss to the Suns. Khris Middleton had 39 points, and Eric Bledsoe scored 28; however, the Bucks’ defense was missing.