The Lakers will also be without swingman Lance Stephenson (left toe sprain), while guard Josh Hart (right knee tendinitis) and center Tyson Chandler (neck stiffness) are both questionable. Sterling Brown (right wrist soreness), Donte DiVincenzo (bilateral heel bursitis) and Pau Gasol will also miss the game for the Bucks.
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LeBron, Giannis Ruled out for Lakers vs. Bucks After Fan Spends $7K on Tickets
Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters Tuesday that the team has not discussed shutting James down for the final stretch of the season. Although they are still mathematically alive in the Western Conference playoff chase, the 31-39 Lakers are 9 1/2 games behind the LA Clippers for the No. 8 spot.
A lot of the games luster was gone before both superstars were ruled out because the Lakers have collapsed. They are 9.5 games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference with 12 games remaining.
Lance Stephenson is out for tonight in Milwaukee, Josh Hart is questionable and Tyson Chandler is probable.
That’s not to say that the Bucks have not had success in the NBA before. Milwaukee won a championship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the “Big O” Oscar Robertson in 1971. Roughly 30 years later, the Ray Allen-led Bucks won the Central Division title and lost in Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals to the Allen Iverson led Philadelphia 76ers, but, still, what superstar player would choose to stay in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most important player in the East
LeBron not playing tonight. Luke Walton says the team has not discussed shutting him down for the final stretch. Would really be something if the final moment of his first Lakers season was getting blocked by Hezonja at the Garden.
Who knows what Antetokounmpo will actually do in the summer of 2021, but I do see what he is doing in Milwaukee. He has brought the respect back to the Bucks franchise. Some will say James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron or Stephen Curry is the most important player in the league, which might be true, but Antetokounmpo is doing what few people thought was possible.
James played in the Lakers last game, a 124-123 road loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday, but sat out Fridays 111-97 road loss to the Detroit Pistons due to load management.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks 3/19/19, Prediction & Odds
Antetokounmpo and the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks are closing out their season series with the Lakers tonight. The Bucks won 131-120 on March 1 behind a monster game from Eric Bledsoe (31 points, nine rebounds and five assists). In that game, Antetokounmpo was held to 16 points – below his 27-point average – and 15 rebounds for Milwaukee, while James scored 31 points and added seven rebounds and 10 assists.
Roughly a week ago, the Lakers and James reportedly agreed to a minutes restriction for their All-Star forward. At the time, the team reportedly planned to rest James for any remaining back-to-back games in what was being termed a “cool down” period for James.
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After eight straight trips to the NBA Finals, the 34-year-old James has played by far the most minutes of any player in the NBA since 2010. The four-time Kia MVP winner is averaging 27.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and eight assists per game this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpos first Nike signature sneaker, the Nike Greek Freak 1, has been kept under wraps so far this season but it appears were now just a few weeks away from the grand unveiling.
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Lakers at Bucks: 3 Things to Know (3/19/19)
Judging from Giannis recent IG post, fans can expect the Nike Greek Freak 1 to officially be revealed on April 4. The Bucks will take on the Philadelphia 76ers in a nationally televised game on April 4, so we might see Antetokounmpo take the court in his new signature sneaker.
Antetokounmpo, LeBron ruled out of matchup
While the kicks have not yet been revealed, two of the upcoming colorways have already been announced as follows:
Mario Hezonja had a game-winning block against LeBron James. That has to be the coolest feeling. I know both teams are basically just battling for lottery odds, but this is the kind of play you tell your kids and grandkids about: pic.twitter.com/zJOeXzYNI6
Antetokounmpo is averaging career-highs across the board this season with 27.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and six assists per game, while leading the Bucks to an NBA-best 52-18 record.
Milwaukee currently holds a three game lead over the Toronto Raptors with 12 regular season games remaining.