The Washington Wizards will look to stay hot when they hit the road to take on the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night.
Washington (30-35) has won 13 of 16 to move into 10th place in the Eastern Conference, just a half-game behind Indiana and two games behind Charlotte. The Wizards are playing their best basketball at just the right time, but will face a Bucks team that has won three straight, including two in a row over ballyhooed Brooklyn.
Milwaukee (41-24) is a manageable 4½-point home favorite to take care of business against the red-hot Wizards. The NBA Odds for this suddenly intriguing Eastern Conference clash are live in the BetUS Online Sportsbook right now.
Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks
When: Wednesday, May 5 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
TV: Bally Sports WI, NBC Sports Washington
Radio: ESPN 94.5 FM, 1500 AM
Westbrook Going Bonkers to Lift Wizards
The Wizards are ballin’ right now, in large part because Russell Westbrook is playing out of his mind. The oft-maligned, perennial All-Star had the third game in NBA history with 20-plus rebounds and 20-plus assists to lead Washington to a high-scoring, 155-141 win over Indiana on Monday night. Westbrook added 14 points to go along with his career-high 21 rebounds and career high-tying 24 assists. The floor general has 178 career triple-doubles, three short of Oscar Robertson’s NBA record, with seven games remaining for Washington.
“He’s amazing — superhuman at times,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “Point guards don’t do what he does. They’re not built that way.”
Rui Hachimura scored 27 points and Bradley Beal added 26 points to help Washington move within a half-game of ninth place.
The Wizards are ranked an impressive fourth in scoring by putting up 115.8 points per game. Despite its winning ways, Washington’s defense has been nearly non-existent by allowing 118.1 points per game (29th). The Wizards have gone 13-18 on the road.
Bucks Flexing Their Muscles
Milwaukee has won three straight, including consecutive statement-making wins over Brooklyn. The Bucks got past the Nets in a thriller 124-118 on Tuesday night, two days after beating Brooklyn 117-114. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a team-high 36 points and Milwaukee pulled away late to get past the Nets.
“I’m happy we were able to put on a show for our fans and able to build good habits in those games, but that’s all,” Antetokounmpo said afterward. “They don’t mean nothing. Nobody’s going to remember these games when we’re in the playoffs.”
Khris Middleton scored 23 points and Donte DiVincenzo contributed a career-high 15 rebounds and 10 points. Milwaukee is averaging a league-leading 119.4 points and shooting a blistering 39.2% from beyond the arc to rank second in three-point shooting. Defensively, Milwaukee allows 113.1 points per game (21st), but limits the opposition to just 45.3% shooting from the field (fifth).
Back Bucks to Make Another Statement
Like everyone else, I’m impressed with the way Washington has picked it up after a horrendous start. Still, I’m expecting Milwaukee to take this game seriously to make another statement about its postseason legitimacy.
The Wizards are 5-0 against the spread in their last five road games, 4-0 ATS in their last four games against a team with a winning record and a bankroll-boosting 14-3 ATS in their last 17 games overall. The Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games, 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a losing record and an identical 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Milwaukee is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings against Washington and the over is 7-0 in the last seven meetings between these Eastern Conference counterparts. I like the Bucks, minus the points, to scratch out the win and narrow ATS cover.
I also like the over as a fairly solid pick seeing as how the Bucks and Wizards scored 244 combined points on March 13 and backed that up by putting up a whopping 255 combined points two days later.