The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, while the Utah Jazz are trying to erase the memory of their first defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. Who gets back on the winning track? Catch this game live on November 1, at 7:00 AM, Manila time.
Away: Utah Jazz (4-1, 2-1 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Donovan Mitchell (Mike Conley listed as day-to-day)
- SG: Joe Ingles
- SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF: Royce O’Neale
- C: Rudy Gobert
The Utah Jazz are going to be pretty unhappy with their loss to the Chicago Bulls, which spoiled their hopes of continuing on with a perfect record. They got 30 points out of Donovan Mitchell, but he struggled with his shot and went 9 of 27 from the field.
Rudy Gobert is going to be the man to watch against the Bucks, who are still missing Brook Lopez. Gobert grabbed 17 points and 19 rebounds in the loss to the Bulls, and there’s no reason to think he won’t have another dominant night on the boards with Milwaukee missing bodies to throw at him.
Jordan Clarkson also struggled in Chicago and will want to atone for his 5 of 19 performance from the field, and good performances from him have always boded well for Utah as evidenced by him winning last year’s Sixth Man of the Year award. He has not shot well overall this season, and his 16.8 PPG average comes with the caveat of a 37.5% field goal percentage and 27.7% three-point percentage. If there was ever a time to step up, it would be in the game against the reigning champions.
Mike Conley is listed as day to day, but that seems to be a conscious decision on coach Quin Snyder’s end to keep him rested. There’s a chance that he plays tomorrow after resting against the Bulls.
The Jazz are 2-1 this season against the spread as a road favorite. They’ve hit the under in 4 of 5 games this season so far.
Home: Milwaukee Bucks (3-3, 1-2 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: George Hill
- SG: Grayson Allen
- SF: Khris Middleton
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Bobby Portis (may play restricted minutes)
The defending champions aren’t having the best season out of the gate. They started the season 3-1, but their lone loss involved a total blowout at the hands of the Miami Heat. Their last two losses have been against teams that aren’t currently considered within the league’s elite in the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs, and now they’re set to face the team with the second-best record in the Western Conference.
The absence of Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday has hurt them, and it looks like neither of those two will be available against the Jazz. That’s going to make things difficult for the Bucks, who need someone that can play in-your-face defense on Donovan Mitchell all game. Lopez’s absence will be felt in the paint, where Rudy Gobert may just feast. Bobby Portis is likely to come back tomorrow but may play restricted minutes as he plays his way into shape, and they don’t exactly have many people with the size and strength to throw at the French center.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, for his part, has been nothing short of brilliant this season. His 27.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG and 6.0 APG on a PER of 31.9 has come with shooting splits of 53.6/30/70. His faster free throw routine looks like it’s actually improved his performance, and he may have to take a lot of trips to the line against the Jazz to keep the game close. Look for him to be aggressive, as he usually is, when attacking the basket.
Khris Middleton is going to need to step up as well. Although he’s averaging 20.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 4.5 APG, he’s only been shooting 43.1% from the field and 25.7% from three. Both are below his career averages of 46.0% from the field and 39.3% from three.
The Bucks are not often home underdogs, and this is the first time they’ve been in this position this season. They did have that status twice last season, and were 0-2 ATS. The under has hit in all three of their home games so far this season.
Spread: The Bucks’ injury woes will have a big effect, especially if Khris Middleton can’t get his shot falling. I like the Jazz at -1.5.
Over/Under: The second night of a back-to-back for both teams, plus the Jazz and Bucks’ propensity for hitting the under this season, makes the under 223 look solid.