Milwaukee at Charlotte
Time: 2 PM CST (NBA TV)
Spread: MIL -13.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Milwaukee Bucks are 24-3 SU against the Eastern Conference and at 39-6 have the best record in the entire NBA. It is 18-4 on the road where it faces the Charlotte Hornets as 13.5-point favorites today in an NBA TV matinee. The point total is set at 219.5 according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Milwaukee has been outstanding thus far and has wholly dominated its competition with its 39-6 record thus far. Milwaukee is 24-3 against Eastern Conference opponents.
The Bucks are No. 1 NBA in scoring at 119.4 points per game, and it allows just 106.7 per game. The Bucks have a win differential of +12.7 points. Milwaukee is the league’s best rebounding team, too, averaging 51.8 boards per contest.
Giannis Antetokounmpo may finally win his elusive MVP award, too. The Greek forward is averaging 30 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game while posting a silly-high PER of 33.50. That does not even take his defensive talents into play, where he averages 2.3 steals/blocks per game while playing outstanding one-on-one defense.
Khris Middleton is the No. 2 scorer at 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game. Eric Bledsoe is the third-option after Middleton with 15.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. George Hill has been a great sixth man for the Bucks. He is scoring 10 points and dishing three assists per game in just 21 minutes a night.
Veteran center Brook Lopez has been somewhat effective, but his 30.4 percent three-point shooting on 4.8 attempts per game certainly helps keep defenses honest and spreads the court for the Bucks. Lastly, Donte DiVicenzo has stepped into the same role he served at Villanova for the Bucks. He is providing a spark. The second-year guard is averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in just 22.6 minutes per game. He has also started 20 games this season. The Bucks are legitimate contenders, now that the Warriors dynasty has come to its end, and also because LeBron James headed to the Western Conference.
The Charlotte Hornets are 15-30 and currently are four games behind No. 8 seeded Brooklyn. The Hornets have lost seven-straight entering this afternoon’s game. Charlotte lost to Orlando, Denver, Portland, Phoenix, Utah, Toronto and Indiana. It has not won since its matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Hornets still have had some bright spots in its season, the brightest of which is Most Improved player candidate Devonte Graham. He leads the team in scoring at 18.6 points per game and also leads in assists at 7.7 per. Terry Rozier has flourished as a full-time starter, too, with his 17.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Rookie PJ Washington has been solid in averaging 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in just 30 minutes a night.
Also, Miles Bridges appears to have some star potential, particularly on the defensive end where he is drawing elite comparisons. The issue, perhaps, is that the Hornets have relied on four breakout players as its top-4 players altogether. Malik Monk nor Dwayne Bacon really made strides, and both were expected to be key scorers in time. The pair combine to average under 15 points per game. Also, the 5-spot is somewhat weak even if Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo are “decent.” Both really are replacement level players splitting time at a position Charlotte must upgrade. With several projects just not working out, but several others emerging, Charlotte must determine what it really has as a core and makes a wise 2020 draft selection.
At first appearance, the Hornets seem set in the backcourt with a promising power forward and “three and D” stopper. It must fill the 5-spot with a rim-protecting monster, and it presumably then could take a real step towards contention in 2020 and beyond.