The NBA is set up for a packed day of action on Sunday night. Nine games in total are on the board for January 27. One of the top games for the night will be between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams are near the top of their conference, which should lead to a close matchup. The game is set to start at 6:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
The Bucks have started the season with a record of 35-12, which has them in first place of the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee has been doing really well as of late, winning six games in a row. The Bucks have been tough to stop this season, and it has helped earn them a one game lead over the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the East. Milwaukee will look to keep things going with a win on the road against the Thunder.
Oklahoma City has earned the third place spot in the Western Conference with a record of 30-18. The Thunder are currently on a four game winning streak, which has helped them climb up in the Western Conference standings. Oklahoma City is only four games back from the top spot in the West. The Thunder will look to get a tough win at home against the Bucks on Sunday night.
Sunday night’s matchup between the Bucks and the Thunder will be the first game of the season series. Milwaukee and Oklahoma City will meet one more time this season on April 10. These two teams are doing really well right now, which should lead to a competitive game on Sunday night. Both teams could really use the win to help keep climbing in the standings.
Last Season’s Matchups
The Bucks and the Thunder also met up two times last season. The first game was hosted by Milwaukee early in the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points for the Bucks, but no other player was able to score double digit points for Milwaukee. Paul George dropped 20 points, while Russell Westbrook had a triple double with 12 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony and Jerami Grant each dropped 17 points to give Oklahoma City the 110-91 win on the road.
The Thunder hosted the second game of the season series. Russell Westbrook had a huge night, dropping 40 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists, but it was not enough. Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 23 points and 12 rebounds. Khris Middleton scored 20 points, while John Henson added another 18 points. The Bucks were able to pull off a 97-95 win on the road.
These two teams each won their road game in the season series last season, which led to a 1-1 series tie. Oklahoma City went on to finish higher up in the standings then the Bucks did, but both teams were bounced in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams are off to even better starts this season, which should help lead to a close game.
Offense vs Defense
The Bucks have started out the season with the second highest scoring offense. Milwaukee is averaging 117.4 points per game this season. The Bucks defense has been doing really well also. Milwaukee has been holding their opponents to an average of 107.4 points per game. The Bucks have been doing great on both sides of the court this season, which is a large reason for their top spot in the East.
Oklahoma City has been able to score around 114.2 points per game, which is fifth in the NBA. The Thunder’s defense has also been in the upper half of the NBA this season. Oklahoma City has allowed the opposing teams to put up an average of 109.2 points per game, which is eleventh in the league. The Thunder will need their offense and defense to put up a solid performance to keep up with the Bucks.
While Milwaukee has the advantage in points per game and points allowed per game, I believe that these teams are more even then the stats say. The Thunder are in the Western Conference, which has given them a more difficult schedule. I believe that this has led to better numbers for the Bucks as they have played a lot more games against teams with losing records.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been doing extremely well for the Bucks this season. Antetokounmpo has averaged 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this season. Khris Middleton has been averaging 17.5 points per game this season. Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon are both averaging 16 points per game from the Guard spots this season. Brook Lopez rounds out the starting lineup as he averages 12 points per game from the Center spot.
Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple double again this season for Oklahoma City. Westbrook has averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists per game this season. Paul George has been off to a strong start this season averaging 27 points and 8 rebounds per game. Steven Adams has averaged 15.5 points and 10 rebounds per game from the Center spot. Dennis Schroder is averaging 15.5 points per game off the bench this season.
Antetokounmpo provides a giant mismatch for just about any team at the Power Forward spot. Westbrook and George are both hard for teams to shut down. Schroder could also play a really strong performance against Milwaukee off the bench. Steven Adams will go against Brook Lopez, which will be an interesting matchup.
Both of these teams are coming into Sunday night’s matchup on a roll. I believe that Oklahoma City will look for their home fans to help give them the edge to get the victory. The Thunder and the Bucks are close in points per game and points allowed per game, but Milwaukee has had an easier schedule. This could lead to Oklahoma City putting up a tough performance to get the win.
BetOnline has the Thunder listed as a -1 against the spread for Sunday night’s matchup. This means that as long as Oklahoma City wins, the worst that can happen is a push. I believe that the Thunder have some good matchups that could help give them the win on Sunday night. I am taking Oklahoma City against the spread.