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Wizards at Bucks preview: Washington hopes to surprise the champs

Washington makes one more trip to visit the defending NBA champions.

Washington Wizards v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

After beating LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Lakers at home, the Washington Wizards went on to lose to league-worst Houston Rockets in what continues to be an up-and-mostly-down season. The Wizards now face the reigning NBA champs away for a game that most predictors forecast as an easy win for the Bucks.

Note this: whoever wins will have won the season-series, that stands at 1-1 right now.

Game Info

When: Thursday, March 24 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI

How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

How to listen: The Team 980 AM, 106.7-2 FM.

Odds: Click on this link to see the details. As expected, the Bucks are heavy favorites in this one with a spread of -12, but we’ve seen all kinds of surprises this season.

Injury Report

Wizards: Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma (Out)

Bucks: Khris Middleton (Out)

Pregame notes

What is the Wizards gameplan?— The Wizards are never tanking, but are they developing their young talent? What is their identity - defense, grit, Everybody Eats? You can say all kinds of things about Scotty Brooks, but at least he had a clear gameplan of pushing the pace and run-and-shoot. The current Wizards seem to be still in search of an identity.

The Bucks might rest multiple players — Which is why I would not necessary rule out the motivated youngsters employed by the Wizards. If the Bucks rest one more All-Star (in addition to Middleton who is out according to the injury report), this could get interesting, especially if Klutch Kuz-man shows up and Porzingis has the game of his life. Ooops, sorry, I should stop dreaming.

Wizards sure regret not keeping Portis — Bobby Portis was here, and the Wizards could have retained him. At least theoretically. He’s blossomed since and has been key to the Bucks rotation. Sure looks like an upgrade to Thomas Bryant at the moment. Harrell would have been a natural choice for guarding Portis. Not sure who will do the job this time.

Flashback: Wizards lose to the Bucks in February during the pre-trade deadline slump

The Wizards actually beat the Bucks during their hot 10-3 start of the season. The Bucks were also missing multiple players to injury at that time. In February the Bucks, in their healthier form, easily handled the Wizards. Here are the highlights from the last game:

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