Barring a clash in the 2017/18 playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks will welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Bradley Center for the final time. The Bucks are coming off a four point loss on the road to the Houston Rockets. Saturday night’s game showed us that Bucks are not far off from the cream of the crop, but have yet to crack the code. They will have another chance tonight to crack the code and notch their first victory of the year against the fighting Drew Carey’s.
Two steps forward, one step back. That’s how the past month of basketball has felt as the Bucks go from winning streak, to losing streak, back to a winning streak, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, the Bucks have dropped three consecutive games and have another championship caliber team in their sights. There is no better way to right the ship and find some stability, than with a victory over a Cleveland team that has had the Bucks’ number recently.
Player to Watch: Giannis Antetokounmpo
The last four times that Giannis has recorded a double-double, the Bucks have won. Milwaukee has an overall record of 10-4 when he records a double-double. He has yet to achieve that statistical feat against the Cavaliers, but last time out he dropped 40 points, nine rebounds, and added three blocks. His match-up against LeBron James will draw eyes from around the globe and hopefully another Giannis scoring outburst won’t go to waste.
Since knocking off the Bucks on November 7th, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone 18-2 with a 13 game winning streak mixed in. The Cavs went from panic mode to back to normal in one month’s time and that has been without Derrick Rose and partly without Iman Shumpert. LeBron James has been playing some of the best basketball we have seen out of him. He has not been held under 20 points scoring since a November 20th contest against the Detroit Pistons where he contributed a measly 18 points. Over the King’s last 20 games he has a per game stat line of 27/9/9. James refuses to give up his title as the league’s best player.
Player to Watch: Kevin Love
Love has posted a double-double in each of the previous two match-ups against Milwaukee with the most recent game seeing Love score 32 points. He has yet to knock down a three-point shot against the Bucks, but has scored 21 of his 49 total points from the free throw line. Love has been held double-double-less in his previous two games and will be looking to impose his will on John Henson and Thon Maker again.
What Vegas Says
Bovada Sportsbook has the Bucks as two-point, home underdogs and an over/under line set at 217. If we average out the two teams’ offensive and defensive ratings, we get a final score of 112-109 in Cleveland’s favor. Based on that, taking the Cavs at +2 and the over are the moves to make.