The NBA will be host to a total of four games on Tuesday night. One of the top games will be between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Milwaukee Bucks. Both teams have had strong starts to the season and will look to continue it on November 7. These two teams will meet for the first time on Tuesday night and will meet one more time November 21.
Milwaukee has started out the season with a strong 8-1 record, which has them in second place of the Eastern Conference. The Bucks are half a game behind the Toronto Raptors, who have a 9-1 record. Milwaukee won their last game against Sacramento after taking their first loss of the season to the Boston Celtics.
Portland has gone 7-3 to start the season, which has them in third place of the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers have won four of their last five games. Portland is on a mission to prove that their strong regular season last season wasn’t a fluke. The Trail Blazers could set a statement with a win against the Bucks on Tuesday night.
Both of these teams are really strong to start out this season. I believe that a win on Tuesday night will help give some momentum to continue to fuel the strong start. These two teams only meet twice a season, which means that they do not necessarily have the best feel for each other. That means both teams will be looking for a quick start.
Last Season’s Matchups
The Trail Blazers and the Bucks met up twice in total last season. The first meeting of the season was held in Milwaukee early in the season. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum each had 26 points for Portland. It was Giannis Antetokounmpo who took over though. Antetokounmpo scored 44 points to help the Bucks sneak out with a 113-110 win.
The second and final game of the season series was hosted by Portland. Milwaukee was once again able to pull off the win, this time by a much more dominant score of 103-91. Jusuf Nurkic had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, but it was not enough. Khris Middleton scored 26 and Eric Bledsoe dropped 25 in route to the win for the Bucks.
Milwaukee was able to sweep the season series last season. The first game in the season series came down to the wire, but when the series shifted back to Portland later in the season, it was all Milwaukee. The Trail Blazers will look to defend home court on Tuesday night, while the Bucks will look to take another road win in Portland.
Neither the Bucks nor the Trail Blazers are dealing with injury problems early in the season. Milwaukee could be without D.J. Wilson and Christian Wood on Tuesday night, but neither player plays a big role in the lineup. Wilson has yet to play this season, while Wood has scored 6 points in 15 minutes played.
Portland could be without Maurice Harkless on Tuesday night. Harkless spends most of his time coming off the bench in a depth role for the Trail Blazers. He has averaged a little under 4 points per game in five games played. He is someone that would be nice to have back for Portland, but if he misses another game it would not be huge.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the best player for Milwaukee on their strong start this season. Antetokounmpo has averaged 26.1 points per game and 14 rebounds. Khris Middleton has been solid as well. He has put up around 19.2 points per game this season. The Guard duo of Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon combine for about 27 points per game.
The Trail Blazers have been led to their successful start by their backcourt. Damian Lillard has averaged 28.1 points and almost 6 assists per game. C.J. McCollum has put up an average of 19 points per game. Between Lillard and McCollum, most teams have difficulty guarding both players. Jusuf Nurkic has been strong at the Center spot, as he has averaged 15.3 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon will have an interesting task on Tuesday night as both players will need to shut down Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. I believe Nurkic will have the advantage at Center spot going up against Brook Lopez. Giannis Antetokounmpo will need to be slowed down as well if the Trail Blazers want to defend home court. Overall, I believe these two teams match up pretty well.
Both Milwaukee and Portland are looking to continue their strong seasons with a win on Tuesday night. Each team can send a statement as they battle another tough team. The Trail Blazers lost twice to this team last season and the last four games they have played against the Bucks. I believe Portland will be out for a little revenge.
BetOnline has the Bucks listed as -1 ½ against the spread. I believe that this game is about right, as both teams seem pretty evenly matched. I have liked how Portland has played at home this season and I believe that they have a good chance to win this one in front of their home crowd. Milwaukee has been the better team this season, but I would not underestimate the advantage given by home court. I am taking the Trail Blazers with the points.