Bucks focus on being top seed
The Milwaukee Bucks enter the stretch run of the NBA season with a one game lead over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference.
Milwaukee has won two in a row and eight of their past 10 and will host the Boston Celtics at the Fiserv Forum with the Bucks 10/27 and the Celtics 11/5.
The Minnesota Timberwolves follow the Celtics into town before the Bucks leave on a five game road swing to take on the Chicago Bulls, the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is battling James Harden of the Houston Rockets for the Most Valuable Player Award and is seventh in scoring with 27.2 points per outing.
Harden leads the league at a 36.6 clip with Paul George, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid all ahead of the Greek Freak.
Nikola Mirotić is expected to make his debut for the Bucks after recovering from a calf injury. The former New Orleans Pelican is, at least on paper, a useful addition for Milwaukee and came over to the Bucks in a three-team trade that included the Detroit Pistons.
Also in action on Thursday evening are the Philadelphia 76ers who welcome in the Miami Heat to the Wells Fargo Center.
While 6.5 games back of the Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings, the 76ers may well be Milwaukee's biggest threat as the new starting five in Philadelphia has the potential to be a dominating force.
Embiid is however out for at least a week through injury and seems likely to miss 3-4 games.
The Bucks are 5/11 to win the Eastern Conference with the Raptors 12/5 and the Celtics 4499/1.
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