The Milwaukee Bucks, who have been red hot of late, head out west for the second game of their four-game road trip, to square off against the Golden State Warriors. These teams have been on complete opposite ends of the spectrum so far this season.
The 32-6 Bucks lead the Celtics and the Heat in the Eastern Conference by five games. The 9-29 Warriors are in last place, 21.5 games out in the Western Conference.
Golden State could rename its squad the Injured Reserves this season, as all of their weapons have been out for all or large pieces of the season. Wednesday will see the return of Draymond Green after he was tossed Saturday versus the Pistons.
Head coach Steve Kerr opted to rest Green and his ailing ankle on Monday night against the Kings after the incident.
The Bucks have remained mostly healthy for much of the season and may have the best player in the league right now. Giannis Antetokounmpo had everything in his arsenal that he needed coming into the season but still has somehow improved. The hot hand of Giannis has led the Bucks not only to the best record in the East but the entire NBA.
Check out our betting preview of this matchup of two of the league’s best and worst teams.
Slowing the Roll
The Bucks had won five straight headed into the first game of their road trip on Monday night. Gregg Popovich and the Spurs put an end to that and handed the Bucks their sixth loss of the season.
The Spurs shot 51.1 percent against a defense that leads the league in opponents’ shooting percentage (.413). The Spurs’ 126 points are the most the Bucks have allowed this season.
The Bucks trail the Rockets by only two-tenths of a point as the second-highest scoring offense in the league. The league’s second-ranked offense should have no issues scoring against the Warriors and their 20th-ranked defense.
The Bucks average 118.1 points per game on the road, also trailing the Rockets for most points per game on the road, but still second in the league, though.
More Like Bronze State
Golden State without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson just isn’t what any of us are used to. The injuries that both players suffered, holding Klay out all season and Curry until at least February, have put a dark cloud over the Warriors this season. So much of a cloud that you barely notice that Kevin Durant isn’t out there either.
Hampering their efforts even more is a recent shoulder injury to D’Angelo Russell. Russell leads the team in both scoring and assists and has been ruled out for the fifth straight game. Russell is considered day-to-day.
The return of Green should help thwart the efforts of Giannis. Expect to see Green on Giannis quite a bit, along with some switching off to Willie Cauley-Stein in the paint.
Down to Brass Tax
The Bucks have played well wherever they’ve played this season. That being said, four of their six losses have come on the road. They have yet to lose back-to-back games this season.
Overall, Milwaukee is 21-17 against the spread. Only three teams in the league cover more often than the Bucks. They’re also 10-8 against the spread when playing on the road this year.
Six of the Warriors’ nine wins have come when playing at home. They rank 19th in the league against the spread, with a record of 17-21, not as bad as one might think with only nine wins. They’re 8-10 against the spread when playing at home, also not horrible.