Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets: Predictions, Starting Lineups (2/29/24)

The Milwaukee Bucks (38-21) face the Charlotte Hornets (15-43) this Thursday (2/29/24). Get Bucks vs. Hornets moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction

Charlotte ranks 28th in Defensive Rating largely due to their porous paint defense. Within eight feet of the basket, opponents average the eighth most field goal attempts and second largest field goal percentage. Enter Giannis Antetokounmpo, who pressures the basket more than anyone. As Basketball Index’s chart below displays, Zion Williamson is the only player in the same universe as him for rim shots per 75 possessions and rim shot making, which adjusts efficiency with degree of difficulty. However, even Williamson does not match Antetokounmpo.

Giannis

Given the projected non-existent resistance at the basket, it should be an effortless night for the “Greek Freak”. Factor in Damian Lillard’s self-creation and production from veterans such as Brook Lopez, Malik Beasley, and Bobby Portis, and Milwaukee’s elite offense should keep on rolling.

Meanwhile, the Bucks appear to be more cohesive under new head coach Doc Rivers, and the results prove it – they rank sixth in Defensive Rating over their past 13 games. Miles Bridges will have his hands full trying to bypass Antetokounmpo, and Charlotte lacks the guards to shred Milwaukee’s point-of-attack defense.

Overall, these teams have played three times this season, and it has been a blowout every time:

  • 130-99 (November 17th)
  • 123-85 (February 9th)
  • 120-84 (February 27th)

Look for Milwaukee to once again cruise here. I am throwing 2u on this line.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets Prediction: Bucks -11.5 (-115 BMGM, 2u)

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CMilwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets Best Odds

The surging Bucks are 11.5 point favorites, which is surprisingly low given their dominance over Charlotte this season. Their 9-13 record against the spread as away favorites likely brought the line down a touch. The Hornets are 13-12 against the spread as home underdogs, which is better but not too impressive.

For the Hornets’ +510 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they need to win here at least 17 percent of the time.

Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup

PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Malik Beasley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
C: Brook Lopez

Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup

PG: Tre Mann
SG: Brandon Miller
SF: Cody Martin
PF: Miles Bridges
C: Nick Richards

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets Injuries

Khris Middleton will miss the contest for Milwaukee, while rookie Andre Jackson Jr. is questionable. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo and MarJon Beauchamp both hold probable tags. On the other side, the Hornets once again lack franchise cornerstones LaMelo Ball and Mark Williams.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets Key Matchups

Brandon Miller’s Efficiency

The second overall pick is in the midst of a mini shooting slump. Over his past four games, Miller has shot a putrid 38 percent from the field and 27 percent from three. Because Milwaukee’s offense likely dominates, Charlotte will need to score at least around 115 points to cover. They don’t approach that figure without a high quality shooting night from Miller, so it’s imperative that he ends the slump tonight.

Damian Lillard’s Efficiency

Charlotte gives up the fourth most above the break three-point attempts per game, which is Lillard’s domain. Tre Mann will struggle to fight through screens, so the pull-up three may be frequently open tonight. Should Lillard put on a show from deep, then Charlotte has no chance of getting stops.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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