It wasn’t looking like a pretty week for the Milwaukee Bucks. After a late game collapse against the Houston Rockets and then getting outshot by a reserve team of the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee was able to clinch the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Now with that pressure off, it will truly be interesting to see how Milwaukee approaches this contest against the Dallas Mavericks.
Remember when I said it wasn’t looking pretty for the Bucks? Losing to the Rockets, understandable and frustrating; losing to the Nets...well, tough, when the other team is hot from three and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are both resting. Then we got to Thursday afternoon against the Miami Heat, and things were looking grim. Down 23 at one point and 17 at halftime, there was no excuse to be made for Milwaukee’s poor play. The same characteristics we saw in previous loses reared its head, but then Milwaukee realized who they were and got it together. The switch seems to be flipped and now the the #1 seed is clinched, Milwaukee can experiment and make sure they get through the qualifiers healthy.
Bucks Player to Watch: Donte DiVincenzo
With Eric Bledsoe’s return to the starting lineup, Donte was able to return to his bench guard role he thrived in this season. He showed flashes of being the lead ball handler but did struggle with turnovers. He is going to potentially have his hands full guarding Trey Burke and his mid range jumpers but that alone will be a fun matchup to watch.
The Dallas Mavericks continue to be entertaining if not frustrating. So far in the bubble, the offense has scored 153 (in OT), 117, 114, and 111 points. Unfortunately for them they have only one win out of four in the bubble. Most of it is their late game collapses against the Suns and Rockets while needing a comeback to beat the Sacramento Kings. Dallas can still get the 6th seed but the question is whether the defense be enough to cause them to gain ground.
Mavericks Player to Watch: Luka Doncic
Luka had started the year with shouts for him being a dark horse MVP candidate. Things tailed off as the year went by, but he has lived up to the hype he had going into the draft. He has the ability to take over at any point and should be interesting to see how he tries to exploit Milwaukee’s defense.
(Let’s be honest, this game isn’t starting until 7:48pm CST)