(Photo By: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Lakers at Bucks: 3 Things to Know (3/19/19)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers visit the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks.
1) AC continues to make the most of his opportunity
March has been a slog for the Lakers, who have won just once in nine games since the calendar flipped.
Over his last three games, the two-way Laker has averaged 14.7 points, 3.0 assists and 50.0 percent shooting. But he has been even more impressive on the defensive side.
He amped up his production in Sunday’s loss to New York, tallying five steals and three blocks, becoming just the fifth player in the league this season to hit those figures.
Caruso became the first Laker in five years to record those defensive numbers, and also made an impact outside of the box score, including drawing three offensive fouls.
2) Kuz is in facilitator mode
Prior to last weekend, Kyle Kuzma had never tallied more than seven assists in one game.
He has now done that in back-to-back games, handing out 10 in Toronto before adding another eight in New York.
Kuzma has flashed all kinds of passing talent during this spike, dealing his dimes in transition, out of pick-and-rolls and in the post. He has developed a particular chemistry with JaVale McGee, who was the recipient of seven of those assists in the last two games.
The sophomore could be called upon to do some more distributing in this game, as LeBron James — third in the NBA in assists — because of a sore left groin.
3) Milwaukee is the class of the league
The Lakers enter one of their toughest matchups of the season, as they face the NBA’s top team on its home floor.
Milwaukee is, of course, led by MVP frontrunner Giannis Antetokounmpo, who erupted for a career-high 52 points last game, but the "Greek Freak" will not play due to an ankle sprain.
Yet while Giannis may be the league’s alpha this season, the Bucks are a true pack. They lead the NBA in defensive rating and rank third on offense. No other team is among the top seven for both.
And the Lakers got a good look at the supporting cast earlier this month, when Milwaukee visited Los Angeles and Eric Bledsoe — one of the league’s top slashers — carved his way to a season-high 31 points.
Lakers: Josh Hart (right knee tendinitis), Lance Stephenson (left foot, second toe sprain) and Tyson Chandler (neck stiffness) are questionable. LeBron James (sore left groin), Brandon Ingram (thoracic outlet decompression, right arm) and Lonzo Ball (left ankle sprain) are out.
Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (illness) is probable. Giannis Antetokounmpo (right ankle sprain), Pau Gasol, Donte DiVincenzo (bilateral heel bursitis), Malcolm Brogdon (right foot plantar fascia) and Sterling Brown (right wrist soreness) are out.
Tip-Off: 5 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet in L.A. NBA TV nationally
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Unis: Purple Statement
Location: Fiserv Forum — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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