The 17-6 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 13-9 Sacramento Kings Wednesday night at the Fiserv forum in downtown Milwaukee. The Kings are having a surprise year, led by star Domantas Sabonis and upstart point guard De’Aaron Fox. The Bucks will be at full strength and the Kings are playing well. It should be a fun, defense-less, high scoring NBA regular season game.
The Bucks are coming off a strong win against Orlando 109-102 while the Kings recently beat the Bulls 110-101.
Vegas has the Bucks at a 68% chance to win and 6 ½ point favorites. The over/under is 236.
Making your free throws
The Bucks have seen a slight statistical drop in their free throw shooting of late. They only made 76% of their free throws against Orlando (ok) but otherwise have had some 80%+ games from the line. Gotta make those free throws! They need those charity stripe points!
Bobby Portis has played well and will need to continue to play well for the Bucks to do well. He is only shooting 71% from the line, however, over his last ten games. He needs to get to the line and hit his free throws.
Keep that lock down 4th quarter defense going
The Bucks have played excellent 4th quarter defense, only giving up around 25 points in the 4th quarter this season. On Monday against Orlando they only gave up 21 points in the 4th. Milwaukee needs to keep up that tough defense in the 4th to continue to finish games and seal the win.
Sacramento has been playing lock-down 4th quarter defense as well. Like so many NBA regular season games, it should be a 4th quarter to remember.
The Opponent: The Sacramento Kings
26 year-old Domantas Sabonis is a big man. At 7’1” he is more than just a center, he shoots from the mid range well and is great on the pick n’ pops. So far this season he is averaging 16.7 points a game, 11 rebounds and leads the team in assists. To have your center lead your team in assists is pretty rare.
De’Aaron Fox has really benefited from the Buddy Hield + Tyrese Haliburton for Sabonis trade. It was one of those rare, unique trades where it really helped both teams. (Indiana is a surprise 13-11.) He’ll slash and score tonight. Expect a strong showing.
The Kings have some other nice players that have played a little above expectation. Kevin Huerter came over from Atlanta as a free agent. He has played well, shooting over 40% from three on the road.
Malik Monk is also having a surprisingly strong year. He only plays 22 minutes off the bench but averages 15 points a game and 4.5 assists. He usually takes over for starter Keegan Murray who has underperformed for the Kings this year.
If the Kings as a team have a true strength it has been shooting and passing. They are currently 2nd in the NBA in team assists (28.1) and 4th in team field goal percentage (49.4%).
If the Kings as a team have a weakness it is blocking and altering shots. They are second to last in the NBA (29th) in blocks (4.5 a game). By comparison Brook Lopez, by himself, leads the NBA with 3.0 a game.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- This is the only time the Kings will be here in Milwaukee this season. Unless of course they meet in the NBA finals. The odds of that happening are listed at +15,550. So, a $5 bet would net you $775.
- How big of an advantage has home court really been for the Bucks? My colleague Jerry Tapp wrote about it. Check it out here.
- The Kings play in the Golden 1 Center. What is a Golden 1 you might ask? It’s a large credit Union in Northern California. For the Wisconsinites in the house, Golden 1 is bigger than all of the credit unions in Wisconsin combined.
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