Los Angeles Lakers: Previewing the showdown vs. the Milwaukee Bucks

LeBron James, LA Lakers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LeBron James, LA Lakers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks match up on December 19th and it could turn out to be the game of the year so far.

Just a few days ago, it would be ridiculous to say that the Los Angeles Lakers or Milwaukee Bucks would have a losing streak during December. But after the game, this will be the case.

Both the Lakers and Bucks had underwhelming losses in their last game; the Lakers against the Pacers and the Bucks against the Mavericks (minus Luka Doncic due to injury).

In a potential NBA Finals preview, there are a few key things to look for that will determine the outcome of the game.

The first crucial aspect of the game is the health of Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis has been dealing with an ankle sprain that held him out of the game against the Pacers.

The injury seems to not be severe and he was kept out of the game to play it safe. There was no need to play Anthony Davis in a fairly insignificant game while sitting on a 24-3 record, especially with the next game being played against the Bucks.

Davis, if healthy, will be the primary defender against Giannis Antetokounmpo for most of the game. Obviously, defending Giannis is a team effort, but Davis is a great guy to have leading the charge.

His speed and length make him one of the only players in the league that cannot have weaknesses exploited by Giannis. If Davis finds a way to slow Giannis down, it puts the Lakers in a great position to win this game.

Another important factor to watch out for is the battle on the glass. Normally, the Lakers have a huge advantage on the boards with a combination of JaVale McGee/Dwight Howard, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James. However, the Bucks are also one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA.  The margin of second-chance points could be the difference of a loss or win for either team.

In a game of this magnitude, it is going to take more than just relying on the bigs to grab every board, it is truly going to become a team effort.

One aspect of the game that could cause it to become lopsided is foul trouble, especially with the centers. McGee and Howard might not be the team’s stars, but they are essential to the success of the Lakers against the Bucks. One of them must be on the floor at all times to help battle on the glass and also to add a big, lengthy defender against Giannis at the rim.

Unfortunately, both McGee and Howard have had struggles with foul trouble in the past. If they end up getting in foul trouble against the Bucks, Milwaukee will have a chance to blow this game open.

This game will likely come down to shooting and bench production. Normally, this would be a positive for the Lakers. However, with Avery Bradley and Kyle Kuzma coming off of injury, and underwhelming shooting in the past few games, the Lakers will really have to work out the kinks against the Bucks.

This is truly a battle of two juggernauts. As fans, hopefully, this game turns out to be a classic.

So, who will go on a losing streak?

dark. Next. Five ways the Lakers can improve

In a very tight, defensive battle, the Los Angeles Lakers will edge out the Milwaukee Bucks by a score of 98-95.