It’s a marquee match-up between top-tier guys as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic face-off. The former brought his team to a 132-125 win in the first meeting last November.

Catch the game tomorrow at 9:30 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Milwaukee Bucks (32-16, 11-11 AWAY)

Projected starting five:

  • Damian Lillard
  • Malik Beasley
  • Khris Middleton
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Brook Lopez

Though still second in the East, the Bucks are 0-2 in the Doc Rivers era. On Thursday, they lost to the lottery-bound Portland Trail Blazers, 119-116, spoiling Damian Lillard’s return in Oregon.

The Bucks, however, may draw energy from their previous win over the Mavericks, wherein Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in a game-high 40 points, and Lillard backing it up with 27. The supporting cast also got their shine as three guys from the second unit–Bobby Portis, Pat Connaugton, and Cam Payne–all reached double figures.

Milwaukee’s offense is top 3 as per usual (123.9 PPG), but defensively, the group has plummeted to 23rd in points allowed and 19th defensive efficiency, a huge far cry from the top rankings over the past several seasons, hence the head coaching change. The jury, however, is still out as to how much it will improve following Rivers and his staff’s arrival.


HOME: Dallas Mavericks (26-22, 14-12 HOME)

Projected starting five:

  • Luka Doncic
  • Tim Hardaway
  • Josh Green
  • Derrick Jones Jr.
  • Dereck Lively II (day-to-day)

The Mavs are only 2-5 over their last seven games. They are scoring 115.7 PPG and giving up 127.3 over that span, which parallels the Bucks’ struggles on defense.

Injuries have been part of the losses – Kyrie Irving (25.2 PPG), for one, has missed the last five games due to a thumb injury, and is still questionable for tomorrow. He put up a team-high 39 points in the aforementioned defeat to the Bucks, and as the second-leading scorer, he’s obviously taking a big chunk of offense with him.

As always, Luka Doncic (34.7 PPG) has the reins. He’ll be back after missing the previous contest to rest a sore ankle. Unless that injury is really bothering him, all signs point to another big night – he dropped 45 in his last game, had 35 on 57.7% shooting in his last meeting with the Bucks, and is one of the leading scorers in the entire league.

With Irving likely gone, Tim Hardaway (18.3 PPG), Josh Green, and Derrick Jones Jr. will be Doncic’s main help. 


Handicap: The Bucks (-4.5) don’t cover the spread.

Over/Under: The total goes over 250.