Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks face off against the slowly warming-up Milwaukee Bucks for the first time in almost a year. The Mavs currently sit at the second seed in the west, while the Bucks sit at fourth in the east, but it really seems like the Bucks might finally be gaining some momentum.
Not only does Milwaukee come into this NBA game fresh off a convincing win over the Toronto Raptors (128-112), but Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t even have to play. If Damian Lillard even manages to play half as well as he did the other night, his gravity should finally give Giannis some room to breathe
However, the offensive tandem of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic continues to be a nightmare. This is especially true for Kyrie, who will almost certainly be guarded by Dame, who, let’s be honest, is a mediocre defender at best.
So, hopefully, he is able to play in this match after nursing his left foot and sitting out against the Wizards.
That’s not the only mismatch on the court, though. Giannis is a huge mismatch when defended by anyone on the Mavericks roster. If Giannis finds his footing down low or gets some momentum in transition, it will be hard to stop him.
Nonetheless, these are both strong contending teams, which should prove to be some fun basketball to watch. That being said, our money line lean is definitely on the Bucks because even though they are the fourth seed, the East is just crazy this year.
Bucks vs Mavericks Odds, Spread Prediction
- Pick: Bucks +3.5
The Bucks may be seeded slightly lower in the east than the Mavs are in the west, but that doesn’t mean they have the advantage here. The West is quite top-heavy with the Nuggets and Mavs, while the East really seems like survival of the fittest.
When you also factor in the fact that the Bucks have simply needed time to gel, Milwaukee definitely has a slight edge in this one. The slow start to the season the Bucks have had likely just comes down to Damian Lillard taking time to mesh with the team, and if the Raptors game is indicative of the future, he is slowly but surely getting there.
There is also the inherent thorn in every team’s side, which is Giannis; it’s simply impossible to contain him. And if he and Dame can run some pick-and-roll action against Dallas, it’s hard to really see any counterplay.
That isn’t to say the Mavericks won’t have their own high-tempo offensive showing because they likely will. Luka and Kyrie will probably combine for close to 60 points, as Milwaukee’s perimeter defence has been lacking, to say the least, following Jrue Holiday’s departure.
However, we have yet to really see this duo play well against any real talent thus far this year. While they have managed to stomp teams like the Washington Wizards and New Orleans Pelicans, they have consistently lost to top-tier talent like the Nuggets and Raptors.
The Bucks will likely be one of the more challenging matchups the Mavericks have had to deal with this year, and it’s unlikely they will have an answer for the Bucks’s one-two punch. Also, if Kyrie doesn’t manage to play, it will be even harder for Dallas to pull away a win here.
Bucks vs Mavericks Player Pick and Betting Tip
After sitting out the last game, Giannis will be ready to show up against the Mavs. So, seeing him score over 31 points really won’t be that out of the ordinary. To start, he has been averaging 31 points over the last five games, scoring 35, 35, and 54 points in his last three.
Adding insult to injury, the Greek Freak’s offensive prowess is sure to be on full display, as Dallas really doesn’t have any answer for him. Whether he is running downhill in transition or simply slashing from the three-point line, he will be more than a handful.
If Dallas was a longer and more athletic team like the Raptors, they could potentially slow Giannis down, but that’s simply not the Mavericks. He should have a field day on Saturday, easily scoring at least 31 points during the outing.