The Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks are both struggling in their respective conferences, but that doesn’t take any shine out of this glittery matchup. Read on for our preview and prediction of this Lakers-Bucks showdown.
Catch this game live on Thursday, November 18, at 8:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Los Angeles Lakers (8-7/1-2 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Avery Bradley
- SF: Talen-Horton Tucker
- PF: Carmelo Anthony
- C: Anthony Davis
The Alex Caruso Revenge Game left the Lakers in shambles, as Los Angeles lost to the Chicago Bulls last Tuesday at home 121-103. The Lakers are looking like a team that desperately needs LeBron James back, but The King isn’t going to make his return this Thursday against the Bucks. With LeBron still out, the Lakers will likely be forced to start Carmelo Anthony again. Anthony, however, scored just nine points and missed all four 3-point attempts in the Bulls game. As a team, the Lakers went 6-of-32 (18%) from deep versus Chicago but got a total of 45 points from the pair of Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis.
The Lakers will continue to have those two guys as the focal points of their offense, but getting support from the role players will just be as important. Los Angeles got 28 points from Talen Horton-Tucker against the Bulls, so hopefully for the Lakers, THJ or at least one non-starter will step up this time around. Considering how bad Milwaukee’s defense has been of late, THJ, Malik Monk, and Melo have a real shot at putting together great offensive numbers. The Lakers, who are averaging 109.8 points and giving up 112.5 per game, are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 outings after a loss of more than 10 points.
Home: Milwaukee Bucks (6-8/1-4 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Grayson Allen
- SF: Khris Middleton (probable)
- PF: Bobby Portis
- C: Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Bucks are not doing much better than the Lakers either. They are coming off a five-game road trip in which they went 2-3, including back-to-back losses to the Boston Celtics (122-113 OT) and to the Atlanta Hawks (120-100) in their last two outings. But a change of scenery could benefit the Bucks, who returns home for the first time since early November. Although they have won just once in five games at Fiserv Forum this season, the Bucks have won three of their last four meetings with the Lakers at home.
Milwaukee is also 3-1 ATS in those games, dating back to the 2017-18 NBA season. Boosting the confidence of the Bucks even more is the potential return of Khris Middleton to action after a lengthy absence. Middleton is currently listed as probable for the Lakers game, but if sits this one out, Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen are both playing well enough to handle expanded duties on the floor. The Bucks are looking to heighten up their defensive intensity after letting the Hawks shoot 48% from the field and connect on 15 of 35 shots from deep (42.9%), but they also seem to be catching the Lakers at a good time; Los Angeles has shot just 44.3 FG% and 28.8 3FG% over its last three games.
Spread: The Bucks regroup at home and beat the Lakers for the cover (-7.5).
Over/Under: The Lakers shoot better, while the Bucks also have their way on offense. Take the Over (214.5).