The LA Lakers travel to Wisconsin for a marquee matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a big time matchup against two teams that could meet in the NBA Finals. There was a lot of hype surrounding a Lakers and Bucks Finals last season, but that never precipitated, with only one of those teams going to the Finals in the bubble at Disney World.
The Bucks were bounced by the Miami Heat in five games to end the dream for fans in Milwaukee. They will have at least five years with Giannis, barring a trade, to become championships. Giannis stayed because management convinced him that they could build a winner in Milwaukee.
With James Harden and Kevin Durant together in Brooklyn, they aren’t the most talented team on paper in the Eastern Conference. That honor goes to the Nets, who have a clear path to the NBA Finals now. That is if the chemistry works out, and I think it will in Brooklyn.
The Bucks are coming off a 125-123 loss against the Nets on Monday in a highly entertaining showdown. James Harden led the Nets in scoring with 34 points, while Kevin Durant chipped in with 30 points. The Bucks found out that they can hang with them, though.
A bounce or call goes their way in that one and the Bucks beat the Nets on the road at the Barclays Center. Despite what the media is saying, it’s hard to see the Nets just running away with the Eastern Conference without resistance from the Boston Celtics and Bucks.
It was an entertaining game for the Lakers in their most recent outing as well. The result that the Lakers were looking for wasn’t there, though. They were cut down by the Golden State Warriors, 115-113, in a come from behind win for Stephen Curry and the Dubs. The Warriors were down 19 points and erased the Lakers’ lead.
That win could be a turning point for the Warriors. Conversely, the Lakers might use it as a game to humble them a bit. The Lakers were on a five-game winning streak, along with wins in nine of ten games before the Warriors came crashing down on them. It might have been a small look ahead spot for the Bucks up next on the schedule. Head below for our free Lakers vs. Bucks pick on January 21, 2021.
LA Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks NBA Betting Odds:
Lakers vs. Bucks Prediction:
The Lakers let their guard down and paid for it against the Warriors. If they didn’t lay off the gas, the Lakers cruise in the second-half and wouldn’t have given that lead up. In any event, that’s the game of basketball. There are four quarters to play and the Lakers were a mediocre group in the second-half. The Warriors won the fourth frame by a score of 34-21. I’m not expecting the Lakers to play a lazy brand of basketball this time around, especially if they have the lead in the second-half.
Despite the loss, the Lakers are still the team to beat in the NBA in my view. They head into Milwaukee with a record of 11-4 following the loss. The Lakers were banged up earlier in the season with injuries to Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Davis missed some time, so it took a minute before the wheels were greased for the Lakers. The Lakers are sixth in the NBA with 115.3 points per game, while they are second with a shooting percentage of 48.8% from the field.
Where the Lakers really separate themselves from the rest of the field in the NBA is with their defense. There are a lot of good offenses in the league, but defense has turned into a lost art for most in the NBA. The Lakers are a tough defense, and it’s bolstered by the arrival of Marc Gasol. Gasol isn’t the player he used to be, clearly, even the guy from two years ago isn’t in LA. However, Gasol is still capable of plugging up lanes in the paint and playing effective defense. The Raptors’ defense hasn’t been nearly as effective without Gasol in their lineup.
The Bucks can score with the Lakers, as they’ve put up 120.4 points per game for fourth in the NBA. However, their defense should have issues matching up against the Lakers in this one. The Bucks are 16th in the NBA with 110.6 points against per game. Also note that the schedule for the Bucks has not been as difficult as what the Lakers have seen in the Western Conference. I think the Lakers were looking ahead to the Bucks before finishing the job against the Warriors. I’m on the Lakers to bounce back in Milwaukee after the lapse in San Francisco.