The NBA has picked up its pace as it nears the halfway point of the season. Ten games are on the board for Wednesday night. One of the games will be between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Houston Rockets, who are both near the top of the standings in their respective divisions. The game will be on ESPN at 8:00 PM Eastern time.
The Bucks have started out the season with a record of 28-11, which has them listed in second of the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is coming off a five-game home stand in which they went 4-1. The Bucks have won ten of their last twelve games. Milwaukee will look to keep their success going against the Rockets on the road on Wednesday night.
Houston has started this season with a record of 23-16, which has them in fourth place of the Western Conference. The Rockets had a real slow start to the season, but have picked it since. Houston has won twelve of their last fourteen games. The Rockets will look to keep up their own winning streak with a tough win at home against the Bucks.
Wednesday night’s matchup between the Bucks and the Rockets will be the first of two games this season. Milwaukee and Houston will meet one more time on March 26. These two teams are both near the top of their conferences, which should lead to a good game on Wednesday night.
Last Season’s Matchups
Last season, the Bucks and the Rockets met up twice. Houston hosted the first matchup of the season series. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 28 points and 9 rebounds. Khris Middleton had 23 points, while Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points, but Milwaukee did not get much more support from their lineup. James Harden scored 31 points and Chris Paul put up 25 points. The Rockets were able to pull off a 115-111 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted back to Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 30 points. Khris Middleton put up 18 points and 12 rebounds. James Harden had a 26 point night, while Eric Gordan had 18 points off the bench. Chris Paul added 16 points and 11 assists to help lead the Rockets to a 110-99 win on the road.
Last season Houston was able to sweep the season series 2-0. The Rockets finished with the top spot in the NBA standings, while Milwaukee also secured a playoff spot. The Bucks have been off to a faster start this season, which could help them pull off an upset this time around, but with how the Rockets have been playing recently, this will be no easy task. Houston will look for their momentum to give them a third straight win against the Bucks.
Three Point Percentage
The Bucks have not been a great team at shooting the three ball this season. Milwaukee is shooting at a three-point percentage of 34.8 percent, which is in the bottom half of the league. The Bucks have been even worse at defending behind the arc. Milwaukee has allowed their opponents to shoot at a percentage of 36.1 percent from behind the three-point line.
Houston has been in the upper half of the league when it comes to shooting behind the arc. The Rockets are shooting at a rate of 35.3 percent this season. Houston has had great defense from behind the arc as well this season. The Rockets have held their opponents to a 33.8 percent shooting rate from behind the three-point line.
The Rockets had the edge over Milwaukee when it comes to shooting the three ball this season. Houston has been shooting better from behind the arc and their defense is much better. With James Harden hot shooting wise, I believe this could give the Rockets a huge edge over the Bucks on Wednesday night.
Milwaukee has been led by their superstar Power Forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo has averaged 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this season. Khris Middleton is averaging 18 points per game from the other forward spot. The guards for the Bucks have also been doing really well this season. Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 15.5 points per game. Eric Bledsoe has averaged 15 points per game.
James Harden has stepped up in a big way for the Rockets to help lead them on this winning streak. Harden is averaging 34 points and 9 assists per game this season. Clint Capela has averaged 17.5 points and 13 rebounds per game this season. Austin Rivers has been doing well since coming to Houston a couple weeks ago. Rivers is averaging 12 points per game in his 7 appearances with the Rockets.
Houston will look for Harden to put up big numbers over Brogdon, who is not the greatest defender. Antetokounmpo will go up against P.J. Tucker, who is a solid defender, but it will be not easy task shutting down Antetokounmpo. I believe that Capela will be able to give the Rockets an edge in the paint as he goes up against Brook Lopez.
Both the Bucks and the Rockets have been red hot as of late and I believe it should be a good game on Wednesday night. I believe that Houston being at home will give them an edge to pull off the win on Wednesday night. The Rockets are also the better team when shooting the three ball and they have some good matchups in the starting lineup. I believe that this will all lead to Houston pulling off the win against the Bucks.
BetOnline has Milwaukee listed as a -1 against the spread. I do not believe that the Bucks should be favored in this matchup. Milwaukee has been doing really well, but so have the Rockets. Houston has a lot of value in this matchup as underdogs. On top of that, the Rockets are a -105 against the spread, while the Bucks are a -115. This means that Houston has a better payout as well. I am taking the Rockets as home underdogs.