The Milwaukee Bucks had many ups and downs during the season and with less than a month to go in the regular season, they are only one game away from the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Dallas Mavericks have also picked up their form lately and are trying to finish the regular season among the top 4 teams in the West to have home-court advantage in the first playoff round.
The Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship last season exactly 50 years after they won the first one. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the NBA Finals MVP last season and seems ready to lead his team to another championship trophy.
The Bucks are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference with a 47-28 record. They have won 5 of the last 7 games but are coming off a 118-116 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Antetokounmpo had an amazing game scoring 40 points and adding 14 rebounds.
The two-time MVP leads the Bucks with 29.7 points (3rd in the NBA), 11.6 rebounds (6th in the NBA) and 5.8 assists on 55% shooting from the field and 30% shooting from deep.
Antetokounmpo was the only Bucks starter who played consistently throughout the season while the other players with All-Star appearances, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday had injury issues.
Luckily for coach Mike Budenholzer, both guards are back and ready for another deep playoff run. Middleton is having 20.3 points per game this season with 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. He shots almost 90% from the free-throw line and almost 38% from three-point territory.
Point guard Jrue Holiday is another huge asset for the Bucks as he averages 18.6 points, 6.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. Just like Antetokounmpo, Holiday is a great defender which often makes the difference in tight games.
The Bucks didn’t make huge personnel changes compared to the championship team. Greyson Allen was the only addition in the offseason and veteran forward Serge Ibaka was brought in before the trade deadline. Both players have found great roles in the team as Allen is shooting 40.8% from three and Ibaka has 7 points and 5 assists coming off the bench.
The Bucks are the fourth-best team in the league scoring 114.9 points per game while they allow 111.2 which ranks them 17th.
The Dallas Mavericks have lost to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first rounds of the last two NBA playoffs and they seem ready that this time they can go at least one step forward. Star point guard Luka Doncic is playing on an MVP level as he averages 27.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game.
The Mavs are currently fourth in the Western Conference with a 47-29 record and are pushing to reach the Golden State Warriors who are only one game in front of them.
The Mavs have won 4 of the last 5 games and are coming off a 128-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Luka Doncic had another amazing performance ending up with a triple-double of 34 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
The most promising part of the Mavs’ improvement this season is that they do not depend on Luka Doncic as they did in the past two seasons. Spencer Dinwiddie was brought in from the Washington Wizards in the Kristaps Porzingis trade which proved to be a great deal as the experienced point guard can take some off the load from Doncic’s back. Jalen Brunson has also emerged as a reliable offensive option and can often go over 20.
The Mavs are 25th in the league scoring 106.7 points per game and second in the league allowing 104.1 points per game.
Our tip for the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks game
This will be a game between two of the four teams that allow the least points per game this season. Both teams are led by European players who are in the MVP conversation. Both Antetokounmpo and Doncic will probably have great games flirting with a triple-double but the Greek Freak will be the one who will lead his team to the victory.
The defending champions went through many ups and downs during the season and now when the top seed in the conference is within a reach, they will be able to grab it. The Mavs have developed from a good team to a real contender but they are still one major step behind the Bucks.