Extra Pass: Gear up for duel between NBA's best teams

Published January 25, 2023, 5:30 PMJC Ansis

The top two teams in the league go head-to-head when the Bucks face the Nuggets tomorrow.

What's up with the Bucks?

Before the win over the Detroit Pistons, the Milwaukee Bucks had only won three of their previous five games without Giannis Antetokounmpo. It didn't really impact their standing in the East because they still hold the top record in their conference.

Carrying the scoring load in Antetokounmpo's absence was Jrue Holiday, who had two 30-point games during that span. Fortunately for Jrue, help arrived when they took on the Pistons as Giannis and Khris Middleton returned from their respective injuries.

Antetokounmpo put his stamp on the game by registering 29 points, 12 boards, and four assists. Middleton only played 15 minutes off the bench for eight points, but it didn't really matter because Milwaukee cruised to a 20-point blowout win.

Getting back their star players in the lineup is a huge boost for the Bucks. Against the Nuggets, Milwaukee will need its main weapons to outscore and—at the same time—stop the reigning MVP.

What's up with the Nuggets?

That reigning MVP I was talking about is Nikola Jokic, who also happens to be the frontrunner for this season's MVP award.

Jokic has been on a tear, averaging almost a triple-double this year with 25.1 points, 11.0 boards, and 9.9 assists a night while shooting 63 percent from the field. He's the main reason why the Nuggets—like the Bucks—are the No. 1 team in their conference.

Denver is playing on the second night of a back-to-back after barely escaping the New Orleans Pelicans despite getting a triple-double from Jokic.

With a healthy Bucks squad, the Nuggets have their hands full. Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon need to step up, especially on the defensive end, to stop Gianns and his crew from running loose.

Where to watch

Catch the showdown between these two heavyweights on NBA League Pass at 9:00 AM.