Action tips off at 10 p.m. ET between the 29-16 Bucks and the 31-16 Clippers. If you’re betting on the game, the host Clippers are 2½-point favorites, with an over/under set at 231½ points.
Milwaukee Bucks Rested Starters Return to Action
After winning eight straight games, the Bucks have now dropped back-to-back games to the Celtics and Knicks.
Their most recent game, a 102-96 loss to New York, was more a product of their absences than any true sign of performance. Milwaukee sat stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, along with contributors Jrue Holiday and Donte DiVincenzo.
All four appear to be returning for the Monday night battle against the Clippers.
Their most recent game at full-strength was a Friday night loss to Boston, 122-114. Middleton led the team in scoring with 19 points, but the starting unit had a tough showing, highlighted by MIddleton’s -30 +/- mark.
The Bucks come in to the week third in the Eastern Conference behind Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Their offense ranks as a top-five unit in the league, while the defense isn’t far behind, just outside the top-ten.
Antetokounmpo leads the team in all major categories. On the year, the two-time MVP averages 28.3 points per game, 11.5 rebounds, and 6.4 assists. Middleton is next in scoring, just over 20 points per game.
Milwaukee is 20-25 against the spread this season and 27-17-1 against over/unders.
LA Clippers Winners of Five Straight
The 31-16 Clippers are third in the loaded Western Conference, winners of five straight games. They just took down the East’s top team in Philadelphia, 122-112, and now have their sights set on Milwaukee.
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with an efficient 9 of 11 shooting night, finishing with 28 points. Leonard tacked on four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Paul George had an equally impressive showing, finishing with 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
The success of the two wings is par for the course for the Clippers, and continuing their high-output efforts is the best bet for LA to get over the hump and reach the Finals.
The Clippers metrics show a team similarly constructed to Milwaukee. They too have a top-five offense and an above-average defense, a quality recipe for winning in the NBA.
Leonard leads the team in scoring this season, averaging 26.0 points per game to go along with 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals.
George is as strong as a 1A option as you’ll get in basketball, averaging 22.5 points per game, 6.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
On the season, the Clippers are 27-20 against the spread and 27-19-1 against over/unders.
This will be one of the best games of the entire week in the NBA. One of the Western Conference’s best teams versus one of the East’s best.
The edge here goes to Los Angeles, playing better basketball and matching up well with Milwaukee’s stars.
These teams did meet back on February 28, with the Bucks winning at home, 105-100. Antetokounmpo dictated the flow of that game, shooting the ball 27 times en route to 36 points and 14 rebounds.
Leonard and George both had inefficient nights from the field, shooting a combined 40%. They’ve been playing as well as anyone in the league of late, guiding the pick for Monday night.
If you’re betting on the game, the pick is Clippers to cover the 2½-point spread.