With Giannis likely out a third straight game, the Bucks head to Dallas to try and pick up their 33rd victory of the season. They recently locked up Jrue Holiday with a new 4-year deal, keeping him, Middleton and Giannis himself on the Bucks for the next several years. With all of these guys definitively sticking around, a championship beckons.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo has had some very good performances of late, proving to be a lot more than the brother of a star. The day he started, and the team was down four starters, he had a 20-10 game, putting up solid numbers across the board. Bobby Portis and Jeff Teague continue to play strong minutes off the bench, while Pat Connaughton is still showing how invaluable and underpaid he is.
Dallas is coming off a loss to the lowly Rockets the night before. When John Wall plays, anything can happen, and he put up 30 points and seven assists in the inter-Texas battle to guide Houston to the surprising win. That came on the heels of a win against Utah so that loss is something that nobody really expected. Whatever the case, they’re on to the next one.
Odds: The Bucks, even without Giannis, are -1 favorites. The over/under is set at 229 points.
Bucks Seeking Another Victory
The chances of passing the 76ers or Nets are not great right now, meaning that the Bucks would have to settle for the #3 seed in the East. They would be the only of those three clubs that faced a team that didn’t have to qualify through the play-in tourney, leaving both clubs equally fresh.
Over the past two years, Milwaukee has won three playoff series. This is, of course, not nearly enough, as they got crushed by Miami in round two last year. Every game was close, but when a #5 seed beats you down like that, consistently, it feels like a blowout when you check the series score. There is significant pressure, even with the stars locked up, on Milwaukee to win now.
No more excuses. No “The Nets are super.” They need to just do it.
Dallas Seeking Quick Bounce Back
A loss to the Rockets can do two things for the Mavs. It can either humble them, as they may have been acting a little conceited following the Utah win. Or it could leave them feeling dejected and low, that losing to a team like a Houston might crush the psyche.
When Luka Doncic is the point guard, any team could fall against the Mavs in a given day. The issue has been that Kristaps Porzingis is not in the lineup every night, and they miss him when he doesn’t play. Nicolo Melli, who came over from New Orleans at the deadline, has been filling those minutes these days.
Should JJ Redick ever heal up and play in Dallas, he will be a lethal option coming off screens. For tonight, it’s Tim Hardaway Jr.
Short-Handed Bucks Win
After losing to Golden State on Tuesday, Milwaukee will bounce back and win this one.
FREE PLAY: BUCKS -1
OVER/UNDER: OVER 229
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