Two hard fighting teams fighting for playoff seeding, the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Indiana Pacers Monday night. Milwaukee looking to continue their recent success, while Indiana needs to win to keep pace for a play in situation.
The Bucks in the last 10 games are 9-1, while averaging 120 points a game. Doing this while shooting over 48% from the field, collecting nearly 50 rebounds a game, and 25 assists. This includes a current 6 game winning streak that the Bucks look to extend as they close the gap on the top two teams in the East.
Without the MVP
The Bucks likely will be without 2-time reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight. Due to a knee injury Giannis is listed as doubtful, and then day-to-day going forward. For the Bucks it will be the first game this season they will play without Giannis. Going back to last season the Bucks were 5-5 without the MVP.
Look for Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton to have the ball at a much higher rate tonight.
Pacers Bread and Butter
The Pacers are going to look to make this game sloppy for the Bucks. A team designed to play tough hard nosed basketball, be scrappy, and force bad shots and turnovers. The Pacers lead the league in fast-break points look for them to get out and run when they have opportunities.
Pacers are lead by All-Star Damontas Sabonis who’s averaging 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists a game. He scored at will, in the last meeting between the two teams with 33 points back on Feb. 3 a game the Bucks won 130-110.
Records: Pacers(19-22) Bucks(27-14)
Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
Time: 8:00pm Central
Line: Bucks -5.5 over/under 231.5
Bucks’ Keys to Victory
The key to success for the Bucks is going to be finding a third guy to step up behind Middleton and Holiday. They will have to take care of the ball and avoid live turnovers, while getting back on defense. Lastly, find a way to get the Pacers defense to collapse either through post up or drives to free up the three point shot. Look for new Bucks forward PJ Tucker to guard Sabonis in the pick and roll.
Prediction: Bucks win 109 – 104
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