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It’s a big Saturday night in the NBA and Washington hopes they can move up in the Eastern Conference standings with a win against the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. The Wizards are currently in 10th place, 2.5 games behind No. 8 Charlotte and three behind No. 7 Miami. These teams last met on Jan. 11, with the Wizards winning at home, 113-106, although Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the game due to injury.
Bucks playing consistent basketball
The Eastern Conference was supposed to be ruled by Boston, with Kyrie Irving back from injury or Toronto with Kawhi Leonard coming to the Raptors. Or what about “The Process” and Philadelphia, especially after they added Jimmy Butler? Instead, it’s Milwaukee who is leading the Raptors by 1.5 games, the Sixers by 4.0 and the Celtics and Indiana by 5.5 atop the East.
On Thursday, the Bucks made a statement in a 105-92 win at Toronto. That was their eighth win in their last nine games. Antetokounmpo led seven players in double figures with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Khris Middleton added 18 points and six boards and after the game on Friday, he learned he would make the All-Star game as a reserve for the first time to join the Greek Freak. Milwaukee shot 49.4 percent from the field and outrebounded the Raptors by 11. Defensively, they were very impressive, holding Toronto to just 39.8 percent from the field and 7 of 27 from beyond the arc.
Antetokounmpo leads the Bucks with 26.4 points per game, 12.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists on 57.2 percent shooting. The Bucks rank second in the league in scoring, averaging 117 points per game on 48.1 percent shooting (3rd) and 35 percent 3-point shooting (15th). The Bucks allow 107.3 points per game (7th) on 43.1 percent shooting (1st) and 36 percent 3-point shooting (19th).
Wiz trying to get through injuries
Washington lost at Cleveland on Tuesday, 116-113 and then came back to beat Indiana, 107-89 at home. The bad news came in the form of another injury to forward Otto Porter, who came out of the game with a sprained toe and is listed as questionable. Bradley Beal stepped up against Indiana with 25 points and is now averaging 27.6 points per game in January. For his solid play, he’s been named an All-Star reserve for the second straight season. Jeff Green had a big game for the Wizards off the bench with 23 points, six assists and five boards. The Wiz shot 52.6 percent from the floor and 12-of-28 (42.9%) from beyond the arc. They held the Pacers to 39.3 percent shooting and 29% (9-31) from beyond the arc.
Beal leads the Wizards with 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He’s one of three players making max money along with Porter and the injured John Wall (knee). Owner Ted Leonsis has stated that he won’t “tank” and is not interested in “trading those players”. So Washington is stuck with trying to get the eighth seed without Wall, though with him, they were even worse. Defensively, the Wizards are still a poor team, allowing 115.3 points (28th) and 36.8 percent from three-point range (29th). Offensively, they are averaging 112.7 points on 46.5 percent shooting (34.5% 3pt).(Side and total plus Parlay bet) Plus our 10 Best Prop Bets! GUARANTEED PROFIT!
- Underdog is 6-0 ATS last 6 in this series.
- 8-1 ATS last 9 home games.
- 9-3 ATS last 12 vs. Eastern Conference.
- 1-5-1 ATS last 7 Saturday games.
- 7-0 Under last 7 in series