The Milwaukee Bucks tipped off their title defense in a solid way, with a win over rivals Brooklyn Nets, but it has not been ideal since. The squad won two more games but also had some painful losses. The Miami Heat beat them by 42 and they lost to two Western teams in the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs.

While it's still early in the season, it is still worth mentioning that this opening does not give a lot of optimism to Bucks fans. They are playing the Utah Jazz tonight and here are four bold predictions for the match.

Bucks v Jazz predictions

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Bucks will lose the game due to injury issues

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Looking at the game from last night, against the San Antonio Spurs, the Bucks severely missed some of their players. Jrue Holiday is out due to an ankle sprain and Brook Lopez is out due to back soreness. Both of them missed the game versus the Spurs and both will miss the game versus the Jazz. Unfortunately for the Bucks, they are keys to victory versus a team such as Utah.

Lopez has evolved into a great defender and he stretches the floor, which is so incredibly important against Rudy Gobert. The former Brooklyn Net and Los Angeles Laker can defend the paint while also pushing Gobert outside of the paint due to his ability to hit the three. Holiday, on the other hand, can be the primary defender for Donovan Mitchell, and if anyone in the league can hold Mitchell down, that is Holiday. He is also key for the stability of the team in the offense.

Without the pairing, the Bucks' chances look dire.

Grayson Allen will keep making the case for a bigger role within the rotation 

Allen has outlived his poor college reputation and is in a position to really solidify his place in the NBA. He was traded to the Bucks in the offseason and immediately signed an extension, with the team showing Allen how much his game is valued. Now that the squad is having some injury issues, Allen is really stepping up.

He is averaging around nine points so far in his career, but in the six games this season, he is up to 13.0 points. His efficiency has not been ideal, but the trust of coach Mike Budenholzer clearly works out in the favor of Allen. The former Duke guard also started all six games and he will definitely expect to continue starting as the usual starters come back from injuries.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo will start again, but it will not be fruitful

The younger Antetokounmpo brother started against the Spurs and it was his second start of the year. That was also the seventh start of his NBA career and with all the players out, he should be starting again tonight. However, with the season the Greek forward is having, it will not work out for the Bucks.

Against the Spurs, Antetokounmpo did have eight rebounds, but he also had zero points, two personal fouls and two turnovers. Other than the boards, he had no impact on the game and there will be questions raised whether he can make any kind of impact for this Bucks team. It is clear that Antetokounmpo is a good player, as he does have an NBA contract, but as the players come back from injuries, he should be relegated to the end of the bench.

Giannis Antetokounmpo will continue his MVP case

Only eight players have three or more MVP awards in their careers. The Greek Freak, as Antetokounmpo is known, is working hard to join this squad and while his team has not been great, it is not his fault. Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists, with shooting splits of 53.6/30.0/70.0.

These numbers would be greater, but Antetokounmpo had two games that were poor for his standards. Against the Heat, he had only 15 points and then 21 points in a win against the Spurs. However, he also had a dominant 32-point outing versus the Nets and a 40-point game in a loss to the Timberwolves. It was his effort that kept them in that game, but the injury bug has bit the Bucks hard and the Wolves are having a great season up to this point.

Antetokounmpo might have an issue in his MVP case if the Bucks do not turn the page. However, his game has not been lacking and if the team improves, the case to join the small list of players with three or more MVPs will be greater.

The Bucks will be playing the Jazz in the Fisverv Forum at 7:00 p.m. EST.