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3 Things Bucks Fans Should Watch for Tonight

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“Regular season games” and “high stakes” are terms far from synonymous for the Milwaukee Bucks in recent history, but when the East’s top two teams face off tonight in Toronto, the Bucks won’t be treating this with the nonchalant nature normally associated with “just another regular season game”.

With the NBA All-Star game approaching and a minuscule gap separating the East’s top teams, Thursday night in Toronto will carry a weight similar to a playoff matchup and will be accompanied by a playoff atmosphere. So as the Bucks prepare to head into enemy territory and deal with all of the 6’s Woes, here are a few things up for grabs in tonight’s highly anticipated faceoff.

1. Playoff Seed Tiebreaker

Not only will the Bucks be challenged in an attempt to sustain the best record in the NBA, but more importantly, garner a potential playoff tiebreaker with Toronto. With a 2-1 season series lead on Toronto, a victory would cement a Bucks’ advantage for a top seed in the playoffs if the two teams were to finish the regular season with equivalent records. With the slimmest of margins separating the teams through the first 50 games, the Raptors will be hungry to secure a split and pick up a tiebreaker through other criteria.

While a win may not appear imperative at first glance, in a top-heavy eastern conference, one seed could be the difference between a first-round matchup with a dangerous and surging Nets squad, or a much more manageable series with a depleted Wizards roster. On top of this — with both squads separating themselves as legitimate contenders home court advantage throughout — the Eastern Conference playoffs could prove crucial for both teams hungry for long-awaited Finals appearances.

2. All-Star Coach Still Up for Grabs

A first-place tiebreaker isn’t the only thing on the line Thursday night in Toronto. The coach of the Eastern Conference squad is still up in the air, as the coach of the team with the best winning percentage in the conference is bestowed the honor of representing the East All-Stars in Charlotte. The winner of tonight’s contest has control to lock in this honor before the February 4th cutoff.

While this achievement is unlikely to be in the forefront of Bud or Nick Nurse‘s mind before tonight’s matchup, it is still another catalyst that adds fuel to the fire of this anticipated faceoff. While not critical in the long haul, having Bud and Co. accompany Giannis and other possible Bucks reserves during All-Star Weekend is icing on the cake and further legitimizes this Bucks squad as a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses.

Sportsnet

3. All-Star Reserves Announced

An hour before game time, the TNT crew will reveal the NBA’s all-star reserves. It remains to be seen if the Bucks will pick up a second or third participant, but as one of the East’s best, the Bucks have a good case as to why they should.

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About Logan Collien

From Madison, WI Twitter: @lcollien

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