The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks are both banged up, but that shouldn’t stop you from being excited about this game. For one, the Cavs are on a winning streak. Will the Cavs extend that unbeaten run, though? The Bucks already defeated Cleveland earlier this month, but are in danger of missing two of their stars.
Catch this game live on Sunday, December 19, at 10 AM, Manila time.
Away: Cleveland Cavaliers (18-12/9-5 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Darius Garland
- SG: Cedi Osman
- SF: Lauri Markkanen
- PF: Evan Mobley (questionable)
- C: Jarrett Allen
The Cavs have been a pleasant surprise this season, as they continue to pile up on wins. In fact, Cleveland is on a five-game win streak after defeating the Houston Rockets at home last Thursday, 124-89. Over the same span, the Cavs also took down the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, two teams that are inside the playoff picture. The backcourt tandem of Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro has been the biggest driving source behind this string of Cavs wins, though Garland will be without his running mate for Sunday’s meeting with Milwaukee. Okoro has already been ruled out after entering health and safety protocols.
Rookie big man Evan Mobley is questionable with hip soreness but is expected to play. It was the Cavs’ frontcourt, however, that led the team, albeit in a 112-104 road loss in Milwaukee on Dec. 7. Jarrett Allen had 25 points in that game, while Lauri Markkanen and Kevin Love scored 20 and 15 points, respectively. Although the Cavs could be missing both Okoro and Mobley, Cleveland could face a Milwaukee team that is without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, who combined for 46 points in the first meeting. Also think about this massive trend from the Cavs: they are 14-2-1 ATS this season in games coming off a win.
Home: Milwaukee Bucks (19-12/10-4 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Grayson Allen
- SF: Pat Connaughton
- PF: Jordan Nwora
- C: DeMarcus Cousins
Jrue Holiday is showing why he is a Big Three member in Milwaukee. Even though the Bucks suffered a 116-112 road loss versus the Pelicans on Saturday, Holiday’s performance in that contest was a memorable one. He scored 40 points to go with five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and just four turnovers despite the high usage. He is staring at yet another huge workload this Sunday with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton potentially missing another game.
Antetokounmpo (health and safety protocols) and Middleton (left knee hyperextension) have both missed the last two games, and chances are they will not be able to suit up this Sunday. In that case, Holiday becomes the main source of offense again for the Bucks, who are averaging 110.6 points per game this season. He should also get ample help from the pair of Jordan Nwora and Grayson Allen. Chipped in 14 points against the Pelicans, while Allen played like he was back in Durham, scoring 25 points with seven threes. The Bucks are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games against Cleveland.
Spread: The Cavs have the momentum and are better rested, plus they still got Jarrett Allen and Kevin Love in the frontcourt, so they should be fine in the middle even if Mobley misses the game. The Cavs should cover (+1.5).
Over/Under: Cleveland’s defense is a problem for Milwaukee, especially if the Bucks won’t have Giannis and Middleton. Leaning on the Under here (214.5).