Bucks Without “Greek Freak” Against Nuggets
The Milwaukee Bucks and the Denver Nuggets will meet on Monday as they do battle at Pepsi Center. The Bucks will try to break out of a mini-slump without MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The “Greek Freak” missed Sunday’s 140-131 loss at Phoenix due to a knee sprain and will not return until Thursday against Boston, if then.
TIME: 9 p.m. ET. TV: NBA TV, FS Wisconsin, Altitude; LINE: Denver -5; O/U: 222
“The way they described it to me is we’ll see how the next few days go and kind of evaluate him and see where he is then,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters of Antetokounmpo before his NBA-leading Bucks allowed 47 first-quarter points to the Suns en route to its third loss in four games.
The Nuggets are just a game out of second place in the Western Conference at this point. They better wake up as they are only 4-5 over their last nine games. That includes Saturday’s 104-102 loss at Cleveland.
The close loss left head coach Michael Malone befuddled. “Who are we?” he told reporters. “That’s a decision we have to think long and hard about. On defense, we don’t point, we don’t talk, we don’t match. You have to participate in your own recovery, right? Our transition defensive lapses are so egregious in nature – lob, dunk, a coast-to-coast drive.” Denver allowed an average of 116.4 points over the last five games, nearly nine more than its season mark.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Bucks are 53-11 on the season thus far. Khris Middleton scored 39 points Sunday. He has stepped up and is averaging 29 ppg in the seven games Antetokounmpo has missed this season. Eric Bledsoe chipped in 28 points on 12-of-19 shooting. They need him to step up as he was averaging only nine points, more than six below his season average, over his previous five games.
The quality offensive numbers meant very little after such a dismal start. “Tough first quarter for us,” Budenholzer told the media of a first 12 minutes that led to a 47-28 deficit. “Phoenix’s aggressiveness just put them in a position where they could maintain a lead and take it home. … I like the competitiveness of the group in the second half the way we fought and gave ourselves some chances. Tough game.”
Denver is 42-21 on the season. All-Star center Nikola Jokic was held to single digits in scoring for the first time in 44 games in the loss. He finished with eight points in the loss at Cleveland. Will Barton scored 22 points to lead Denver. The Nuggets shot 50.6% from the floor but was a season-worst 3-of-8 from the charity stripe. Gary Harris scored 18 points and picked up a season-high five steals. He is shooting 66.7% from the floor in March and is 7-of-10 from 3-point range.
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The Dart Throw: Bucks 106, Nuggets 120
NBA Monday Trends
- Trend Over is 26-10-1 in Nuggets last 37 games as a home underdog. Hit % 72.20% (37) O/U 26|10 Push 1 W/L
- Over is 5-1 in Nuggets last 6 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5. 83.30% (6) 5|1 0
- Over is 6-2 in Nuggets last 8 games as a home underdog of 5.0-10.5. 75.00% (8) 6|2 0
- Over is 6-1 in Nuggets last 7 games as an underdog of 11.0 or greater. 85.70% (7) 6|1 0
- Trend Under is 7-3 in Bucks last 10 games as a road favorite. Hit % 70.00% (10) O/U 3|7 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 8-2 in Bucks last 10 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5. 80.00% (10) 5|1 0
- Over is 4-0 in Bucks last 4 games as a road underdog of 5.0-10.5. 100.00% (4) 4|0 0
- Over is 4-0-1 in Bucks last 5 games as an underdog of 11.0 or greater. 100.00% (5) 6|1 0
Bucks vs Nuggets H2H Meetings Trends
- Trend Over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Denver. Hit % 100.00% (5) O/U 5|0 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Bucks are 6-13-1 ATS in the last 20 meetings in Denver. 31.60% (20) 1 6|13
Stats brought to you by Scores&Stats
Milwaukee home to Boston Thursday, March 12
Denver at Dallas Wednesday, March 11
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