The Milwaukee Bucks are off to a slow start this season, but there’s still plenty of time for them to flex their muscle and show why they are the reigning NBA champs. But will the New York Knicks ignore all that and take down the Bucks on the road? Or, will the Bucks teach New York a lesson?
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Away: New York Knicks (5-3/3-1 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kemba Walker
- SG: Evan Fournier
- SF: RJ Barrett
- PF: Julius Randle
- C: Mitchell Robinson
Are the Knicks cooling off? After a fantastic 5-1 start, New York has lost its next two games. The team will try to snap its skid when the Knicks face the banged-up Bucks on the road this coming Saturday. The last time they were on the floor, the Knicks suffered a 111-98 road loss to the Indiana Pacers Thursday. Kemba Walker sputtered throughout the contest, finishing with just four points in a salty 2-of-11 shooting.
Outside of Walker, most other Knicks turned in ample scoring support, with Julius Randle putting up 18 points, while RJ Barrett led New York with 23 points. The Knicks shot just 41.4 FG% against Indiana, but they have a good opportunity to recover their rhythm on offense against a Milwaukee team that is missing key players due to injuries. New York is averaging 115.1 points per game and owns a league-best average of 16.6 3-pointers per contest.
Home: Milwaukee Bucks (4-4/1-3 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: George Hill
- SG: Grayson Allen
- SF: Pat Connaughton
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Bobby Portis
The Bucks got back to .500 by beating the Detroit Pistons last Wednesday on the road, 117-89. The victory put a stop to the defending NBA champions’ three-game losing streak. With Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez out with injuries, Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the Bucks against the Pistons and stuffed the stat sheets with 28 points, nine assists, four blocks, and eight rebounds in just 27 minutes.
If this were another player, we’d doubt whether he can put up the same numbers in the following game, but Antetokounmpo is certainly capable of doing all that again versus any opponent. The Bucks might still not have those three aforementioned players, but the likes of Grayson Allen, Bobby Portis, and Jordan Nwora have been stepping up during their absence. Given the form of the Knicks of late, the Bucks, who are making 109.4 points per game, should be fine playing at home with Antetokounmpo taking over.
Spread: The Knicks have taken a couple of tumbles lately, but I expect them to recover and play better against the Bucks on the road. Take the Knicks to cover (+5).
Over/Under: Neither team are particularly stout defensively. Take the Over (217).