The NBA is set up with a strong night of basketball on January 15. Eight games are up on the board throughout Friday night. One of these games will be between the Dallas Mavericks and the Milwaukee Bucks. These two teams have had solid starts to the season and will look to earn a big win in this one. This game will tip off at 7:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
Dallas has earned a record of 6-4 throughout this season, which has them sitting in sixth place of the Western Conference. The Mavericks have won four games in a row coming into this one and will look to keep it up. Dallas is right back into the mix for the Western Conference playoff picture and will look to put another statement win up against Milwaukee in this one.
The Bucks have posted a record of 8-4 to this point in the season, which has put them in second place of the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee has won three games in a row and six of their last seven. The Bucks had a bit of a slow start to the season, but are back in their contender form. I expect Milwaukee to come out fast in this one as they try to set the pace at home.
These two teams have put up solid records to this point in the season and are on nice winning streaks. Both teams had slower starts to the season, but have been able to get back to their competitive level. I expect both teams to try and control the pace of play early in this one as they look for a big win on Friday night. If either team can have a hotter start, it might be enough for the win.
The Mavericks and the Bucks met up twice throughout last season. Milwaukee hosted the first game back on December 16. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 48 points and 14 rebounds, while Kyle Korver finished with 17 points. Seth Curry and Kristaps Porzingis both dropped 26 points on the night. The Mavericks were able to dominate for a 120-116 win.
The second game of the season series was during the qualifiers. Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo both scored 34 points. Khris Middleton added 21 points and 11 assists, but it still was not enough. Luka Doncic dropped 36 points, 19 assists and 14 rebounds. Dorian Finney-Smith finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis added 26 points and 11 rebounds to help propel the Mavericks to a 136-132 win.
The Mavericks were able to sweep the season series with Milwaukee last season, despite the Bucks being the better regular season team. Dallas was able to put up two big offensive performances to earn those wins. Milwaukee will look to bounce back in this one. This will be the only game between these two teams this season, so they will both look to make the most of it.
Luka Doncic has helped lead this Mavericks team this season. Doncic is averaging 27.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game. Tim Hardaway Jr. has averaged 18.5 points per game. Kristaps Porzingis dropped 16 points in his first game back on Wednesday night. Dallas is without Josh Richardson and Jalen Brunson, who have both averaged over 10 points per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the leader for this Milwaukee team this season. Antetokounmpo has averaged 26 points and 10 rebounds per game. Khris Middleton is averaging 21.5 points per game. Jrue Holiday has averaged 15 points per game. Bobby Portis is averaging 12 points per game, while Donte DiVincenzo has averaged 10.5 points per game.
These two teams have been led by their stars throughout this season. The Mavericks have Porzingis back in the lineup, which is huge, but they are still without a few key role players due to COVID-19. I think that this give an edge back to the Bucks. Milwaukee has been led by Antetokounmpo and Middleton, but have had a lot of other players step up.
Field Goal Shooting
Dallas has not been great shooting the ball throughout this season. The Mavericks have made around 45.1 percent of their shots from the field, which is 17th in the NBA. Dallas has shot 34.8 percent from deep, which is 22nd in the league. The Mavericks have also made around 54 percent of their shots from inside the arc, which is 12th in the NBA.
The Bucks have been strong shooting the ball this season. Milwaukee has been able to make around 49.3 percent of their shots from the field, which is 3rd in the league. The Bucks are also shooting 41.3 percent from behind the arc, which is 2nd in the NBA. Milwaukee is also shooting 55.6 percent from in close, which is 5th in the league.
Milwaukee has been the better team shooting throughout this season. The Bucks have been able to shoot well inside and outside the arc. The Mavericks have had a really strong defense though. Dallas has held opposing teams to a 43.8 percent from the field, which is 2nd best in the league. Milwaukee has allowed their opponents to shoot 44.2 percent from the field, which is 7th in the NBA.
The Bucks have had a stronger season so far this season and I think that they will come out strong in this one. Dallas swept the season series with Milwaukee last season, but I think that the Bucks will bounce back in this one. The Mavericks are also without multiple players due to COVID tracing, which will give Milwaukee’s bench a chance to take over.
BetOnline has the Bucks listed as a -6 against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to Milwaukee on Friday night. I agree with this as the Bucks have a good chance to take over this game. Dallas has been solid, but without key bench players, I think Milwaukee can take this one over and cover the spread. I am taking the Bucks to take this win at home.