#506 Milwaukee Bucksvs.#505 Washington Wizards
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Washington Wizards (17-18 SU, 18-17 ATS 23-12 O/U) at Milwaukee Bucks (18-17 SU, 16-19 ATS, 20-14-1 O/U)
When and Where: Sunday, Jan. 8, Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisc., 2pmET
Line: Milwaukee -4
The Washington Wizards have won nine straight home games but they are 3-12 on the road. A .500 road record would put them in contention for a top four seed in the East. Milwaukee is 11-8 at home but coming off a 116-111 home loss to the New York Knicks on Friday night. That came two days after beating the Knicks on Jan. 4, 105-104 from Madison Square Garden. Washington has won both games at home this season against the Bucks, but lost on the road, 123-96 on Dec. 23.
Andrew Wiggins scored 41 points for Minnesota on Friday night in Washington D.C., but the Wizards managed to still topple the T-Wolves 112-105. Wiggins made 16-of-30 shots but the rest of the T-Wolves were pretty much held in check. All-Star point guard John Wall put on a dazzling display of passing, dishing out 18 assists with 18 points in 40 minutes. Shooting guard Brad Beal led the Wiz with 22 points on 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Center Marcin Gortat was the recipient of most of Wall’s passes, scoring 19 points and 10 boards on 9-of-9 from the floor. Washington made 58.2 percent of their shots, including 12 of 22 from 3-point range (54.5%). They held Minnesota to 47.1 percent shooting, though they were outrebounded by five.
Wall is quietly having a career year with 23.3 points per game, 10.2 assists, 2.3 steals and 46.6 percent from the field. Beal is second in scoring with 22.1 points per game on 39.9 percent 3-point shooting. He’s missed four games due to injuries and the Wiz will him to stay healthy the rest of the way to have a chance at a solid playoff spot. Washington averages 105.4 points per game and shoot 47.1 percent from the field (4th). Offense hasn’t been a huge issue but defense has (106.1 ppg allowed, 46.9%, 37.6% 3pt defense).
Milwaukee had defeated Chicago, Oklahoma City and the Knicks in three straight games before falling at home to the Knicks. Not many teams in the East other than Boston and Cleveland can shake away from the mediocrity level. In their loss against the Knicks, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 25 points, six rebounds and five blocks. But the “Greek Freak” also had five turnovers. Jabari Parker continued his strong play with 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting, and also had five assists. Greg Monroe had 19 points and seven boards off the bench. The Bucks shot 50 percent from the field and 12 of 22 from the three-point line. But like the Wiz, they have some issues on the defensive end. The Knicks shot 49.4 percent from the field and made 13-of-23 (56.5%) of their three-point attempts.
Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks in scoring with 24 points per game, in assists with 5.7 per game, in rebounds with 9.0 per game, in field goal percentage (53.3%), in steals (1.9) and blocks (2.1). Milwaukee averages 105.1 points per game and 47.5 percent from the field (3rd). They allow 102.8 points per game (8th) and 44 percent from the field (3th).
Washington just doesn’t play defense, especially on the road. They’ve gone over in 23 of their last 35 games, while Milwaukee has gone over in 20 of their last 35. Wall is tough to stop in the open floor and well, both teams love to run so expect a high-scoring game.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!