There are five games taking place in the NBA on Tuesday including a huge clash between defending champions Golden State Warriors and 2021 winners Milwaukee Bucks in Wisconsin.
The showdown at the Fiserv Forum is one of two massive non-conference battles as later in the evening Los Angeles Lakers entertain – and both games could be viewed as potential Finals Series previews.
The Bucks sit in second spot in the Eastern Conference but they go into this game seeking to bounce back after a surprise loss at Houston Rockets last time out, while picked up an impressive win over the Celtics in San Francisco in their last game but their road form remains a concern.
What: Golden State Warriors @ Milwaukee Bucks
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
When: 00:30, Wednesday 14th December 2022
How to watch: bet365 Sports Live Streaming, NBA League Pass, Sky Sports Arena, Sky Sports Main Event
Odds: Golden State Warriors 8/5, Milwaukee Bucks 5/9
Golden State looked a shadow of the team that overcame Boston in six games in the Finals Series last season in the early stages of the campaign but they have found a bit of form recently.
The Warriors now have a 14-13 overall record after winning six of their last nine games, meaning they now sit in ninth place in the Western Conference and are just one game behind in sixth spot, the final automatic playoff place.
Golden State haven't won in Milwaukee since 2018 and they lost the corresponding fixture 118-99 last season, but the Bucks have had a few disappointing results at home recently.
Milwaukee have one of the best home records in the league as they are 12-3 after 15 games, but all three of those losses have come in their last eight games – against Atlanta Hawks, and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Bucks are still a fearsome prospect at their Fiserv Forum home but they no longer look invincible and the Warriors should head into this game in confident mood after seeing off an Eastern Conference title contender in the shape of Boston Celtics over the weekend.
Golden State relied heavily on Stephen Curry earlier in the season and he remains their most important player, but the likes of Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole have hit form after difficult starts.
Thompson led the scoring against the Celtics with 34 points, while Poole weighed in with 20 as he started in a forward position.
There were concerns before the season began that coach Steve Kerr could have an issue with his two shooting guards, Poole and Thompson. However, Poole has been used as a forward recently, as James Wiseman has been assigned to the G-League and Andrew Wiggins is unavailable, and has been reverting to his usual position in the backcourt when Thompson is unavailable.
Curry is getting plenty of help from his supporting cast and that has resulted in an upturn in form for the Warriors, while Giannis Antetokounmpo is having the kind of season that could see him win a third MVP award with the Bucks.
The Milwaukee talisman is to win the MVP award outright and he will be looking to put in a big performance against a championship rival. Antetokounmpo struggled with his shooting against Houston last time out as he scored just 16 points on 7-17 shooting, although he made an impact in other areas with a season-high 18 rebounds.
Like Curry, Giannis has some quality players around him and Tuesday's game may well be a preview of this season's Finals Series if Golden State can continue to improve and the Bucks maintain their form.
Wiggins will miss a fourth straight game with a groin injury and he is also expected to miss Wednesday's trip to Indiana.
The Bucks will be without Khris Middleton after he suffered an ankle sprain in the defeat to Houston. The forward had only just returned from a lengthy stint on the sidelines with a wrist issue and Milwaukee will hope this latest setback is not too serious.