Like many things in life, you always want to prove to that one person that you were better off without them. The Milwaukee Bucks will have the chance to do that against the Dallas Mavericks who are currently coached by former Bucks head coach Jason Kidd.
Where we are at
There seems to be a temporary light at the end of the tunnel for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks were happy to have Khris Middleton back after he hyperextended his knee last week against the Celtics and Wes Matthews was out of the Health and Safety Protocol as the Bucks were able to win Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets. Jrue Holiday has stepped up in the statistical area as Milwaukee was losing players left and right and that has been important for them as well. Meanwhile the Mavericks, who had their last game at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves are simply average at the moment with a 15-15 record which has them 7th in the Western Conference. Their offense hasn’t been at the levels we have seen in the past but their defense has shown some small improvement which has their net rating sitting at exactly 0.
In terms of who is available, we never seem to keep up anymore as the Omicron variant is spreading throughout the country. Donte DiVincenzo, Bobby Portis, and Giannis Antetokounmpo all look to still be out due to Health and Safety protocols while Brook Lopez is recovering from Back Surgery. It will be interesting if Grayson Allen plays after the last two games were he dressed but didn’t see the court.
Budenholzer, when asked by @JimOwczarski to clarify not 100 percent: "He's just a little bit off. Obviously, we're testing for COVID. It's not that. He's actually feeling better, so I think we just looked at the schedule, looked at what was best for him and his body." https://t.co/Ok8iwTVTLG— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) December 23, 2021
For Dallas, they will be without Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr. due to Health and Safety protocols along with Kristaps Porzingis who is day-to-day with a knee injury.
Player to Watch: Khris Middleton
As mentioned earlier, Khris returned Wednesday against Houston and he was his aggressive self. In 28 minutes, Khris had 23 points and 6 assists and while he couldn’t quite connect as much from three, he didn’t appear too rusty following his knee injury. It will be interesting to see if he will have his minutes limited playing on a B2B and traveling but him avoiding the worst injury wise was a relief.
Game 34: Against the Mavericks, the Bucks will....
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Win big (10 or more points)
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