The NBA trade deadline is one of the most fun weeks of the season as year in and year out we witness some of the biggest news hits of the year. While the Bucks stayed relatively quiet, the Clippers made some noise by trading away John Wall and hauling in some key contributors to fill out their depth. While they are not taking the court just yet, can they hold off the Bucks without them in the meantime?
Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Clippers Betting Odds
Oddsmakers slightly lean towards them pulling it off on their home court, opening them as a -1 favorite. Bettors have sided with them as well, taking the Clippers up to -2 as of writing. This comes as a bit of a surprise, even with the Bucks coming off of no rest against the Lakers. They remain mostly intact with Giannis and Jrue Holiday still expected to give it a go. While this number is currently a pass for me now, it will be intriguing to see if the number keeps moving towards the Clippers.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 223. Bettors were quick to hammer the over, taking the number up to as high as 227 as of writing. This brings some intrigue as the Clippers ability to find consistent scoring opportunities will be a mystery when their secondary players check in. They have a new role player core with their new trade pieces being unavailable for the time being.
Milwaukee Bucks vs LA Clippers Prediction
The Pick: Wait on Bucks spread
As previously mentioned, this game is a pass for me for now as I want to continue to monitor this line movement. I initially lean towards the Milwaukee Bucks as they come in far more intact, even though they are coming into this one on no rest. The Clippers will be without star defender Kawhi Leonard, giving Giannis more free reign to terrorize the Clippers on his drives to the basket.
Not only are the Clippers without Kawhi, but they will also be without their newfound core they traded for in Bones Hyland, Eric Gordon, and Mason Plumlee. They also traded away Reggie Jackson who carried the scoring mantle in bench minutes, as well as sharpshooter Luke Kennard. This is potentially detrimental to the Clippers bench minutes as the Bucks are poised to dominate that stretch of time.
The Bucks have evolved into an all-around unit, excelling on both ends of the court. This is vital as the Clippers are top-3 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, bringing an added emphasis for the Bucks to limit the scoring damage on the other end as they may find it troublesome to find scoring consistency against a stout defense. That’s been an area of concern for the Bucks as they have been prone to scoring lulls by lacking a true perimeter presence as an all-around unit.
- Bucks are 1-4 ATS against the Clippers in LA
- Bucks are 3-7-1 ATS in the last 11 games against the Clippers overall
- Over is 4-0 in the last four games against each other in LA
Can the Bucks zero in on Paul George and limit his scoring output?
Paul George vs Bucks perimeter defense
Without Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers scoring output resides on the shoulders of Paul George who can alter a game at a moment’s notice. He is one of the best two way players in the NBA today, commanding opposing attention at all times.
The issue for the Clippers is after George, they don’t really have another go-to scorer should George run cold. Kawhi Leonard normally fills that role, but he is already listed as out for this contest.
While Grayson Allen may pick up George as his assignment, the Bucks may opt into the idea of shading another defender towards him. This would force George into driving towards the middle where Giannis and Lopez cover the gap with their length, forcing him to kick it out and have someone else to beat them.
I am passing on this game for now as I will be patiently waiting for a Bucks +4 or higher.
Milwaukee Bucks Starting Lineup
LA Clippers Starting Lineups
Milwaukee Bucks Injuries: Bobby Portis (O), Joe Ingles (O), Jae Crowder (O)
LA Clippers Injuries: Kawhi Leonard (O), Bones Hyland (O), Mason Plumlee (O), Eric Gordon (O)