Dec 27, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks in second half of NBA game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Nets won 104-93. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Game 30 Preview: Wolves (14-15) @ Bucks (6-23)


Coming off a 104-93 Friday night loss in Brooklyn in which “the Greek Freak” rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo started his fifth game and led the Milwaukee Bucks in scoring with 16 points on 12 shots with 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.

The Bucks took the gun out of the Wolves’ hands when they signed O.J. Mayo to a 3-year deal worth $24 million last summer. Mayo, who ceded the starting shooting guard slot to Antetokounmpo, is a career 43% shooter who also happens to shoot it 38% from three, so it looked as though he could have been considering Mayo an answer to their (still existing) three-point woes.

Mayo is averaging 13 points on 35% shooting with 4 rebounds, 2 assists and over 2 and a half turnovers a game over the last 5 games.

Bucks probable starting lineup:

PG Brandon Knight

SG Giannis Antetokounmpo

SF Caron Butler

PF Ersan Ilyasova

C John Henson

The Bucks welcomed Larry Sanders (no caps) back to the lineup Friday night after missing most of the season with a broken thumb. Sanders played 22 minutes before fouling out, but scored 10 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked 2 shots before exiting.

Ilyasova has had an Alexey Shved-like sleepy start to the season for the second straight year, averaging just 8 points and 4 rebounds on 37% shooting in 27 minutes a game. Ily has been in and out of the lineup with ankle issues.

Wolves probable starting lineup:

PG Ricky Rubio

SG Kevin Martin

SF Corey Brewer

PF Kevin Love

C Nikola Pekovic

This is the kind of back-to-back the Wolves should be able to handle. After dismantling the Washington Wizards inside and limiting their fast break opportunities, the Wolves will have to contend with a Bucks lineup which features six sub-40% shooters among their top eight most minutes-played.

In other words, Milwaukee is tanking right so far. Giannis Antetokounmpo is getting development minutes. They have second-year man Henson in the starting lineup and should stay in the mix while Sanders tries to come back. The bizarre thing about Milwaukee is Zaza Pachulia and other vets presence.

Tags: Featured Giannis Antetokounmpo Kevin Love Larry Sanders Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves Popular Ricky Rubio