Two of the top teams in the NBA square off Friday night when the LA Clippers travel to the Midwest to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
This has the potential to be the best game of the season to date, with superstars on both sides and big men who can get hot in a hurry. For Los Angeles, the wins have come at a high clip, even though Paul George missed several games to open the year, and Kawhi Leonard has gone in and out of the lineup to “load manage” himself. When together, these two are lethal and can score as well as they can defend. Lou Williams is thriving even more now that he has superstars to draw attention away from himself.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee came back determined after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to Toronto last season. The Bucks have won 19 of their first 22 games and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has looked even better than last year, and put in additional work on his three-point shot. Who would have thought that the guy few casual NBA fans had heard of on draft night could truly take the league by storm? It has been a long time coming, and he had hype from the beginning, but the level he is at right now is unreal.
The Bucks are favored by 3.5 points Friday night, with the over/under set at 232.
LA Looks To Keep Rolling
Despite having several elite perimeter defenders on their team, the Clippers rank inside of the bottom six in the league in points allowed. And the lack of consistent rim protection is at the center of the issue. Montrezl Harrell can dominate any game on offense, but he isn’t big enough to be the rim-protector. The minutes that Ivica Zubac gets are relatively low (16 per game), and as that’s the case, the Clippers only have themselves to blame. Landry Shamet has now missed 12 games with his ankle injury, so we continue to wait patiently for his return to the floor.
Coming off shoulder surgery, George is averaging 24 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists, while Leonard is posting 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game. Both of them have been tremendous, while Williams is scoring 21 points per game. Harrell is posting 19 a night, with the four of them doing most of the offensive heavy lifting.
Bucks Try To Hit 20 Wins
At 19-3, no team in the East has been quite as dominant as the Bucks have. An injury to Khris Middleton? Brook Lopez missing games? Losing departed free agent Malcolm Brogdon? No problem. Guys have stepped up and filled all of the voids seamlessly, while Pat Connaughton and Donte DiVincenzo have both played impressively to this point in the year, providing good minutes. They have Robin Lopez to now anchor the team when brother Brook is out, so they really have that DNA on the floor, usually for the full 48 minutes.
Giannis continues to tear it up, while the other guys are playing good ball. You can’t miss this game. Friday night is a must-see game.
Bucks Pick Up The W
Giannis’ ability to draw several fouls per game will make it hard for Leonard and George. He powers Milwaukee to the win!
Free Play: MIL -3.5
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