Bucks Injury Report: Milwaukee Sweats Over Damian Lillard’s Availability, Amid Question Mark Over Khris Middleton’s Return vs the Nuggets

Published 02/12/2024, 7:48 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

A blockbuster matchup awaits the NBA. The Denver Nuggets will face the Milwaukee Bucks tonight. Both sides are seen as strong competitors for the title. Denver remains reliant on the tandem of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray to help defend the throne. The Bucks have put all their eggs in one basket with the Damian Lillard trade in the offseason.

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What we can expect is a clash of two MVPs. Giannis Antetokounmpo is having a fantastic season averaging 30.7 points and 11.3 point rebounds. Even with their rough start, he and Dame are now playing at a similar wavelength. Despite their successes, the recent appointment of Doc Rivers seems to have taken them off course.

The Bucks have only won three of their nine games since Rivers took over as the head coach. Obviously, a sense of urgency and need for results is pressuring the group. When facing the Nuggets, the Bucks will miss Khris Middleton, who remains out because of an ankle injury. However, there are also some doubts over All-Star guard Damian Lillard.

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Will Damian Lillard play tonight?

Lillard has been exactly what Milwaukee was looking for when they made the rocking trade for the former Portland Trail Blazers guard. He has improved their floor spacing by being one of the most dangerous three-point shooters in the game today. Moreover, he has taken a sizeable chunk of the scoring onus off Antetokounmpo’s back. In his first year as a Bucks, Lillard has managed to find himself fit well with the group. He is starting to click with the Greek Freak. Their pick and roll frequency is gradually climbing. In short, they are starting to look like a championship duo.

Facing an opposition like the Denver Nuggets, who can hurt you from various directions, Milwaukee needs all their weapons to fire. Both sides have one of the best offenses in the league. It will most likely come down to who shoots the ball better. The Bucks will start on the back foot playing without Middleton, a volume-scoring forward who has provided timely buckets since Damian Lillard came in.

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Rivers claims he will be out for at least two more games.

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USA Today via Reuters

Another name appearing on the injury list is that of Dame Dolla. Luckily, it isn’t something serious. Lillard is listed as “probable”, and will be monitored day-to-day. He is suffering from a left ankle sprain. But given his love for the big moments and his history in big games, Damian Lillard will probably be out on the floor alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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The Nuggets vs Bucks showdown could hold major implications down the line. It will be an indicator of their strengths when facing true competition. It could switch the MVP race. A lot rides on this game. Who will come out on top in the meeting of the stars? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar

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Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having composed close to 2000 articles, he aspires to manage his own team one day and is pursuing a top-tier college-level management program specializing in sports. Anuj's love for basketball blossomed after he started following the NBA a few years ago, and he decided to merge his writing skills with his understanding of this thrilling game.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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