Milwaukee at Phoenix
Time: 8 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: MIL -13
Odds c/o 5dimes
MIL TEAM NOTES:
The Milwaukee Bucks have won eight of its last 10 to improve to 48-15 on the season. It holds a 2.5 game lead over Toronto for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks have a top-2 or 3 to rival any team in the East. Giannis Antetokounmpo is turning in an MVP-caliber season with his 26.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.39 steals and 1.45 blocks per game. His PER leads the Bucks at 29.5. Khris Middleton is quietly having another superb season as the No. 2 scorer. Middleton averages 17.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. Eric Bledsoe has fit in well since becoming a Buck.
He joins Middleton in the backcourt as the No. 3 scorer, good for 15.8 points per game. 2017 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon is steady and consistent. He has averaged 15.7 points and 1.00 blocks/steals per game and is one of the team’s best defenders. The Bucks are the league’s top rebounding team at 49.0 boards per game, and it has the No. 7 defense in the league in allowing 107.4 per game. The Bucks also possess the No. 2 offense, averaging 117.4 points per game. Its positive 10-point differential is best in the East.
PHX TEAM NOTES:
The Phoenix Suns are just 13-51 this season, possessing a bottom-third defense that allows 116.3 points per game while the Suns manage to score just 106.5 itself, ranking worst in the Association. The point differential is -9.8.
Phoenix has a few great top talents, but it cannot seem to find much rhythm or continuity on the defensive end.
Devin Booker is averaging 24.3 points per game and 6.8 assists, but his efficiency has been questionable with a PER Of just 18.4 due to his 45 percent shooting and 31 percent three-point shooting.
TJ Warren has rounded into one of the better undersized forwards in the league, but his tough defense has gone unnoticed on a team so poor in that respect. Warren also averages 18 points per game in just over 30 minutes a night.
The Suns have been quite pleased with No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. Ayton looks seasoned and is a good rim protector. He is averaging 16.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.77 blocks/steals per game. The Suns ideally would like him to swat more shots, but his overall defense has been solid for a rookie.
Outside of that top-3, the Suns start to fall off….
The biggest hole is at point guard where Phoenix recently cut journeyman Isaiah Canaan. And Josh Jackson has fallen out of the starting lineup, seeing just 17 minutes a game to average seven points per contest. The Suns have some nice pieces intact at the top of the roster but need depth, a point guard, and defensive identity, where it currently has none save its sieve identity in giving up so many while scoring so few itself. Phoenix is a disaster entirely, but it will try to build around its two studs– Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton–with yet another high draft pick in 2019.