When and where: January 18, 2020, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY, 6:00 PM ET
The struggling Brooklyn Nets get no break in the action with the Milwaukee Bucks scheduled for a visit on Saturday. Milwaukee has continued to power their way through the rest of the NBA by stringing together five consecutive wins, including an impressive 128-123 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. The Nets, on the other hand, are in the middle of more drama and coming off back-to-back losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz.
Giannis is the freak of all freaksOn a night when Boston’s Kemba Walker scored 40 points, Bucks star forward and speeding freight train, Giannis Antetokounmpo, turned in a team-high 32 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks to lift the team to a 128-123 victory. It took a herculean effort to finally put the Celtics away in what could have been a preview of a future playoff game.
The Bucks will now turn their attention to Kyrie Irving and the Nets on Saturday. Brooklyn is currently ranked 25th in the league in offensive efficiency and slated to go head-to-head with the No. 1-ranked defense in basketball. Antetokounmpo plays a big role in that due to his immaculate two-way abilities. Not only will “The Greak Freak” tomahawk on you, but he will also do his best Dikembe Mutumbo impression with his elite shot blocking on defense.
The dominance has continued on offense as well with Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe to back him up. Milwaukee is shooting 47.9 percent from the floor with the top-ranked scoring offense in the league.
Irving might wish he was back in Boston before this game is over.
Kyrie problems already in BrooklynPerennial All-Star guard Kyrie Irving made headlines after the Nets’ loss to the Sixers for making comments about the team needing “one or two more” complimentary pieces to compete. It’s understandable how those remarks may not sit well with everyone on the roster considering Irving has missed most of the season with an injury. Guys have played hard to keep the team afloat, only to have Irving step to the forefront and try to play general manager.
“I reached out to make sure nothing was taken out of context -- making sure that the guys knew exactly what I meant,” Irving said on Friday, via ESPN.com. “And that is the only thing that matters. Everyone can say, ‘If I was in this position, I would’ve said this, I would’ve done this.’ They have have no idea because they’ve never been at this level, so how could you even comment on it?”
Irving could have saved himself and the team some unnecessary drama if he never made the comment in the first place. He’ll try to make amends on the court in Saturday’s upcoming Eastern Conference tilt with the Bucks.
Brooklyn is averaging a 44.2 field goal shooting percentage against the best defensive team in basketball. Milwaukee is holding opponents to a 39.3 shooting percentage and 107.1 points per game on the road. The team is going to need Irving to become more offensively involved than he was in the loss to the Sixers.
Brooklyn has been one of the more underrated defensive teams in basketball. Their 43.6 field goal shooting percentage allowance ranks as the third-best in the league. They’ll need all of the defensive help they can get to keep Antetokounmpo from wrecking the game.
Joe Harris has been ruled out of the game for the Nets, while DeAndre Jordan and Garrett Temple remain questionable.
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Bucks are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a losing straight up record.
- Bucks are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Bucks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a road favorite.
- Bucks are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- Nets are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Nets are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 2 days’ rest.
- Nets are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Nets are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.