Preview: Thunder at Bucks - 11/19

After closing out its four-game homestand with a win over the Rockets on Wednesday, OKC now hits the road for a three-game stint through the Eastern Conference. The Thunder’s first test will take place in Milwaukee on Friday against the Bucks where the Thunder will have a chance to throw their best punch at the reigning NBA champs.

What to Watch

Defensive Carryover In its game against Houston on Wednesday, the Thunder’s defense was on full display as it held the Rockets to just 89 points on 35-percent shooting from the field. On Friday, the Thunder will have a much different defensive test in containing the large, veteran frontline of Milwaukee. One of the biggest takeaways from the Thunder’s first meeting with the Bucks during preseason was the level of physicality required in containing the defending champs.

Lu’s Offensive Streak With his season-high 34 points performance against the Rockets, Thunder guard Lu Dort has now recorded five consecutive games with 20 or more points which marks the longest streak of his career. Over those five contests, the undrafted wing has averaged 24.6 points while shooting 58.8 percent from the field.

Offensive Pace After back-to-back games with zero fast break points, the Thunder has now recorded three consecutive games with 10 or more fast break points including 13 against Houston. OKC’s offense is fueled by its ability to get stops defensively, secure rebounds and get out in transition for early looks at the basket.


Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault will not travel with the team on their three-game road trip as he and his wife, Ashley who is 40-weeks pregnant, are expecting a child. Thunder assistant coach Dave Bliss will take over as interim head coach for the Thunder’s games against Milwaukee, Boston and Atlanta. Bliss is in his third season on the sideline for the Thunder and ninth season overall with the organization.

“I think it's a great opportunity for us to flex our organizational muscles,” said Daigneault. “It's a great opportunity for not only Dave, but the rest of our coaching staff and the team. It's a little bit of a stress test in a good way. That's how you get better and grow.”


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on going up against Milwaukee… “They’re one of the better teams in the NBA. Obviously, they’re coming off a championship, so it’ll be super fun to play against them and give them our best shot and kind of try to prove ourselves against one of the top dogs in the league.”

Scouting Report

Wednesday’s matchup will mark the second game in a season-long five-game home stand for the Bucks. Most recently, Milwaukee defeated the Lakers 109-102 as Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with a season-high 47 points on 78 percent shooting from the field and a 3-of-4 performance from deep. With his two made 3-pointers against the Lakers, sharpshooter Khris Middleton tied the Bucks franchise 3-point leader in all-time 3-pointers made. Both Middleton and Pat Connaughton off the bench chipped in 16 points in the effort and forward Bobby Portis cashed in 17.