The Milwaukee Bucks and the Cleveland Cavaliers play for the last time in the 2022-23 NBA regular season this Sunday. The Bucks have won the first two showdowns, while the Cavs won the most recent one. Will the Bucks close out the head-head series up 3-1? Or, will the Cavs pull even?
Catch this game live on Sunday, January 22, at 8:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Milwaukee Bucks (29-16/11-11 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Grayson Allen
- SF: Pat Connaughton
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo (questionable)
- C: Brook Lopez
Milwaukee is starting to get hot again. Following back-to-back losses to the Miami Heat in South Beach, the Bucks returned home to score consecutive wins against the Indiana Pacers (132-119) last Tuesday and then over the Toronto Raptors last Wednesday (130-122). Milwaukee’s offense has been popping off lately, and that’s even though the Bucks have missed the services of Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) in their last four games.
There’s no assurance that the Greek Freak will be able to suit up again at last this Sunday, but if he can’t, his starting spot will be taken over likely by Bobby Portis, who just had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win against Toronto. Jrue Holiday has also been a monster of late for Milwaukee, having averaged 27.0 points while shooting 48.3 3FG% in the last four games. Speaking of outside shooting, the Bucks have knocked down 83 3-pointers on 43.7 3FG% over the same course.
The Bucks are 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Home: Cleveland Cavaliers (28-19/19-5 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Darius Garland
- SG: Caris LeVert
- SF: Isaac Okoro
- PF: Evan Mobley
- C: Jarrett Allen
Cleveland lost the first two meetings this season with the Bucks, but the Cavs won the most recent showdown against Milwaukee, scoring a 114-106 home win against Giannis and company last December. In that game, Donovan Mitchell powered the Cavs with 36 points on 9/21 shooting. But Mitchell has missed the last two Cleveland games, including Saturday’s 120-114 home loss to the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors due to a lower-body injury. If he can’t go again this Sunday, Caris LeVert (22 points vs GSW) and Darius Garland (31 points) will carry most of the load offensively for Cleveland.
Antetokounmpo unloaded 45 points, but the Cavs held Holiday to only 9 points on a salty 3/12 shooting in the aforementioned December meeting. Holiday has struggled in the two times he faced the Cavs this season, so there’s something in Cleveland’s defense that is messing with Holiday’s touch. After all, the Cavs are arguably the best defensive team in the NBA this season. They are allowing just 107.3 per game this season and 109.7 per 100 possessions.
The Cavs are 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 home games versus Milwaukee, dating back to 2017.
Spread: The Cavs (-1.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (218.5) hits the Over.