The NBA is set up with a busy Friday night of basketball. Eight games are on the board in total for February 8. One of the games will be between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks. Milwaukee has been the best team in the NBA this season, while the Mavericks have been very inconsistent. These two teams will meet at 8:30 PM Eastern time.
The Bucks have earned the top spot in the NBA this season with a record of 40-13. Milwaukee has won five games in a row and eleven of their last twelve. The Bucks have been playing extremely well this season. Milwaukee has a two-game lead for the top spot in the NBA and they will look to hold onto it with a victory on the road on Friday night.
Dallas has gone 25-28 this season, which has been pretty solid after last season’s finish. The Mavericks are in the eleventh place of the competitive Western Conference as of right now. Dallas has been playing well as of late, winning two games in a row and three of their last four. The Mavericks will look to keep it going with a win on Friday night.
Friday night’s matchup between the Bucks and the Mavericks will be the second and final game of the season series. Milwaukee and Dallas only meet twice a season, which means that they do not get much of a feel for each other. Both teams have been playing well as of late, which makes me believe that the Mavericks could keep it close.
Last season the Bucks and the Mavericks met up twice during the regular season. Dallas hosted the first game of the season series and were able to pull off a 111-79 win off of an impressive night from Wesley Matthews. The second game of the season series shifted to Milwaukee, where the Bucks were able to get some revenge with a 109-102 win to even up the season series. Milwaukee finished and went on to make the playoffs, while the Mavericks missed out on the playoffs completely.
The Bucks hosted the first game of this season’s series on January 21. Luka Doncic had a big night, dropping 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Jalen Brunson scored 16 points for the Mavericks, but it was not enough. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a huge night, scoring 31 points and adding 15 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe added another 21 points and Milwaukee’s starting lineup combined for 100 points. The Bucks were able to give their home fans a 116-106 win.
These two teams split last season’s series 1-1. This season Milwaukee took the first game of the season series in front of their home fans. The Mavericks will look to bounce back with a home win of their own. The Bucks have been a much better team this season, but with neither team seeing each other enough to get a good feel, I believe Dallas has a chance to pull off the upset.
Three Point Shooting
For being the best team in the NBA, Milwaukee has not been great from behind the three-point line this season. The Bucks have made around 35.5 percent of their three-point shots, which is a little above the middle of the pack. Milwaukee’s defense is the same way, allowing opponents to make around 35.6 percent of their shots from behind the arc, which is also around the middle of the league.
The Mavericks have not been great at shooting the three-point shot, but their defense behind the arc has done extremely well. Dallas has made an average of 34.6 percent of their three-point shots, which is bottom ten in the NBA. The Mavericks defense though has held opposing teams to a percentage of 34 from deep. Dallas will need this defense to shut down the Bucks on Friday night.
I believe that both teams could find some difficulty shooting the three ball on Friday night. Milwaukee will be going up against the Mavericks tight three point defense. Dallas is going up against an average three-point defense, but they still have not been great at consistently making their shots from behind the arc this season.
The Bucks have been led by the MVP type season from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo is averaging 27 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this season. Khris Middleton has averaged 17.5 points per game this season. Eric Bledsoe is averaging 16 points per game, while Malcolm Brogdon has averaged 15.5 points per game. Milwaukee also picked up Nikola Mirotic at the trade deadline. Mirotic could play on Friday night.
Luka Doncic has been doing an amazing job this season. Doncic has averaged 20.5 points, 7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game this season. In his first game with the Mavericks, Tim Hardaway Jr. dropped 12 points. Hardaway Jr. has averaged 19 points per game this season. J.J. Barea is averaging 11 points and 5.5 assists per game off the bench. Dallas also picked up Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph at the trade deadline. They could both play on Friday night.
The Mavericks have seen a major turn around in their roster over the last couple of days. Dallas has traded away Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr., and DeAndre Jordan. The Mavericks have picked up some big players and will continue to be led by Doncic. I believe that Doncic and Antetokounmpo will play an exciting matchup in the paint.
The Bucks are red hot coming into Friday night’s game, but I believe that Dallas could compete with Milwaukee. The Mavericks only lost by ten points in their game on the road against the Bucks. Both of these teams are not great at shooting the three ball, which means that it could play a big role in Friday night’s game. I really like the matchup between Doncic and Antetokounmpo. Doncic has risen to the occasion in big games this season.
BetOnline has Milwaukee listed as a -8 against the spread on the road. The Bucks have played really well this season, but I believe that Dallas shouldn’t be this big of underdogs. The Mavericks have done a great job against the spread this season and I believe they can keep it close with the Bucks. Milwaukee has won their last couple games by big spreads and I believe this could be a trap game.