A pair of Central Division teams kick off 2019 on the parquet floor in Brew City. The Detroit Pistons are on the road as they travel to face the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night. Detroit comes in off a heartbreaking 109-107 road loss at Orlando Sunday afternoon in their last contest. Milwaukee beat Brooklyn 129-115 at home in their last contest Saturday night. The Bucks own a 131-112 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams, including wins in both matchups this season. In the most recent matchup, it was the Bucks taking a 107-104 win on the road on December 17, 2018.
Detroit Pistons Hoping for Division Win
Detroit managed to crack the century mark for the first time in five games but lost on a jumper at the buzzer. The Pistons still hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but their lead was trimmed to half a game over the Magic entering Monday. The late bucket ruined a Detroit comeback as they trailed by 10 after the opening quarter. After cutting the lead to one after three quarters, the Pistons were down eight with 3:13 to play to tie the game with only 2.5 seconds to go. Detroit shot 42.4 percent from the field, including eight of 31 from beyond the arc, and controlled the glass 51-45 yet took the defeat. Luke Kennard led the Pistons with 16 off the bench in the loss. Detroit is 8-8 ATS on the road this season while the over is 8-7 in those games.
The Pistons are mediocre so far offensively, ranking 21st in scoring offense with 107.7 points per game. Detroit is 7th in rebounding with 46.9 boards per game and are below average sharing the ball, ranking 25th in assists with 22.1 per night. The team is 14th in scoring defense as they allow 109.5 points a game. Blake Griffin leads the Pistons with 24.7 points plus 8.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Reggie Jackson chips in 15 points plus 4.4 assists per contest, Reggie Bullock adds 11.8 points a night and Andre Drummond posts 17.4 points and 15.3 rebounds per contest. The Pistons look to Ish Smith (9.2 points), Langston Galloway, Stanley Johnson, Luke Kennard, Glenn Robinson III and Zaza Pachulia to provide depth and a scoring punch from the bench. Detroit is tied for 29th in the league by shooting 43.3 percent from the floor. The Pistons are tied for 15th in the league in three point field goals with 10.9 per game while ranking tied for 29th by sinking 32.4 percent from downtown. Smith is out at least three and possibly as long as six weeks with a torn right adductor muscle. Robinson III and Henry Ellenson are both out until early January with sprained ankles, which could further impact the Pistons’ depth.
Milwaukee Bucks Go for Fourth Straight Win
Milwaukee won their third straight game as they blitzed the Nets on Saturday night for a third straight win. The Bucks look to kick off 2019 the same way they closed 2018: with a win. Milwaukee entered Monday leading the Central Division by 1.5 games and trailed Toronto by half a game for the top spot in the East. The Bucks led by six after the opening quarter and by 19 at the half: their lead didn’t drop below seven the rest of the way. Milwaukee shot 49 percent from the field and hit 21 of 51 three point attempts in the contest. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the victory. Milwaukee is 11-6-1 ATS at home on the year while over is 10-8 in those contests.
The Bucks are above average so far this season offensively, ranking 1st in the league with 116.9 points a game. Milwaukee is elite on the boards at this point of the year as they are 1st with 49.9 rebounds per game. The Bucks are 5th in assists as they dish out 26.1 per contest. Milwaukee is 10th in scoring defense as they allow 107.9 points per game. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the team with an average of 26.6 points to go with 12.8 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Khris Middleton (17.8 points), Brook Lopez (12.2 points), Eric Bledsoe (15.4 points, 5.5 assists) and Malcolm Brogdon (15.3 points) are all averaging in double figures for the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova, Donte DiVincenzo, George Hill, Tony Snell, PatConnaughton, Thon Maker and Jason Smith are all contributors for coach Mike Budenholzer. Milwaukee is 7th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 47.3 percent from the floor. The Bucks are 2nd with 13.7 three point field goals per game and stand tied for 19th as they shoot 34.7 percent from beyond the arc. Ilyasova has been out with a broken nose and is questionable here.
- Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
- Bucks are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Eastern Conference foes
- Bucks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Pistons are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Pistons are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
- Pistons are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 day of res