Pregame Dribbles: Bucks Look a Lot Like Cavaliers Once Did

Sam Amico

Pregame dribbles as the Cavaliers prepare for the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday (7:30 p.m., FOX Sports Ohio).

1. The Bucks look a lot like the Cavs used to -- with a star player (Giannis Antetokounmpo) and a bunch of pretty good players around him.

2. Two seasons ago, that was LeBron James with the Cavs.

3. But there are two big differences: A). Unlike James had done before returning to Cleveland in 2014, Antetokounmpo has never won a title. B). Also unlike James, Antetokounmpo doesn't draw as much drama to the team.

4. That's not all James' fault. Some of it is (or was), but much of it is because everything he says is blown up the the millionth degree.

5. But hey, that's how you make the biggest of bucks.

6. Anyway, let's talk about the Cavs (5-13) a little. They have lost eight of 10. The Bucks (15-3) won 60 games last season as Antetokounmpo nabbed MVP honors. They enter Friday as winners of nine straight.

7. Cavs coach John Beilein on the Bucks: "They're a difficult team to prepare for. Giannis is a different, very unique hybrid of a player. It's going to e difficult."

8. Let's face it, the Cavs will need to play their best game of the season and hope the Bucks are a little off. The Cavs have struggled mightily against team's with "length," and the Bucks are as long as just about anyone.

9. Tristan Thompson is likely to start off on Antetokounmpo, and Thompson did an admirable job for spurts in the first meeting (a 129-112 loss at Milwaukee a month ago). Cedi Osman may get a shot, too.

10. Thompson leads the Cavs in double-doubles with 10. Larry Nance Jr. has recorded three straight. Darius Garland has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight. Osman is averaging 13.0 points and 5.5 rebounds over the last four.

11. I wrote about former Cavs and current Bucks guard George Hill and wing Kyle Korver. You can read it here: Former Cavs Hill, Korver haven't missed a beat with Bucks.