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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview: Luka Doncic vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Hopefully a noon start doesn’t ruin what could be a doozy of a game

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks are fresh off making history with their incredible loss against the Los Angeles Clippers, and they could make history once more by playing well in a noon tip against the Dallas Mavericks today. I kid, but the early tipoff games are always a bit wonky with this team; hopefully with a few days off for the starters they’ll be ready to bring it against one of the league’s better defensive teams.

Where We’re At

The less said about Milwaukee’s loss to the Clippers, the better, although it was almost impressive in just how inept their backups truly proved to be. Regardless, it gave the starters time to rest and bask in the improbable victory out in Brooklyn on Thursday night. Honoring Giannis Antetokounmpo truly was the highlight of Friday.

As the team prepares for the final week of the season, the Mavericks should offer a solid tune-up.

While Jason Kidd’s team is fresh off an embarrassing thwomping at the hands of the Washington Wizards, 135-103. It’s surprising not just because the Wiz are bereft of some of their premier players at the moment, but also because Kidd has somehow crafted a team full of what I consider just so-so defenders into one of the league’s preeminent defensive teams. They’re ranked seventh for the season at 109.1. It’s a stunning turnaround for a coach whose scheme looked so out-of-touch just a few seasons ago for Milwaukee. Their offense has stagnated, but is still stirred by the supernova talents of Luka Doncic, who is averaging 28 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.6 assists for the season. Trading Kristaps Porzingis at the deadline for Spencer Dinwiddie seems to have solidified some of their “second ball handler” problems that plagued them this year.

On the injury front, Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as probable for the Bucks. Meanwhile, the Mavericks will be without Tim Hardaway Junior, Sterling Brown, and Trey Burke. Maxi Kleeber is questionable.

Player to Watch

The aforementioned Dinwiddie seemed to be languishing in Washington this year, but since hitting Dallas he’s averaging 16.7 points on 58% eFG percentage including 37% from deep, well above his career average of 32%. He’s adding four assists as well and gives Luka an outlet as at least one other option who could create a bit of offense for this team. I’m curious to see how his integration looks into their heliocentric scheme.



Poll

Game 78: Against Dallas, the Bucks will...

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Win big (by 10 or more points)
    (37 votes)
  • 47%
    Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (52 votes)
  • 13%
    Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
    (15 votes)
  • 4%
    Lose big (by 10 or more points
    (5 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now

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