It is not every day in the NBA where two teams with a total winning percentage of better than 85 percent face off against each other. However, today, the 8-2 Milwaukee Bucks will visit the 10-1 Golden State Warriors in a matchup of early-season titans (10:30pm ET Thursday on TNT).
The Bucks have found success this year under new head coach Mike Budenholzer by attempting way more three-pointers than they ever have. Aside from superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who usually handles the ball a lot anyway, every player in Milwaukee’s regular rotation is a very willing shooter from behind the three-point arc. The Bucks’ offense has been extremely spaced out because of it.
The Warriors are just ruthlessly dominant. They have a wealth of amazing players on both sides of the floor and have great chemistry. Defensive anchor Draymond Green is out with a toe injury, but the Warriors should still play well.
How will the game play out? We’ll consider some storylines before taking them account as we make our preview’s Milwaukee Bucks vs Golden State Warriors predictions against the betting lines.
Can Brook Lopez Find Some Consistency on His Three-Point Jumper?
The Bucks’ three-point shooting is way up across the board, but the biggest individual jump is coming from the center position. Free-agent signing Brook Lopez is taking a whopping 6.6 three-pointers in just 25.2 minutes per game, making 2.5 of them for a solid percentage of 37.9.
The veteran big man is a super high-volume stretch 5 all of a sudden, and his results have been mixed. In the six games where he has made at least 40 percent of his threes, he has put up 15.3 points per contest. In the other four games where he’s been off on his shot, he has averaged just 6.8 points per game.
Lopez drained six out of 10 three-pointers in his most recent game against the Trail Blazers. In the three games prior to that, though, he shot a combined 3-of-17 from downtown. Milwaukee needs Lopez to keep his rhythm going to keep the floor spaced against an athletic, long and versatile Golden State defense.
Will the Warriors Be Careful Taking Care of the Ball?
The Warriors don’t necessarily have a fatal flaw. After all, they have won three of the past four NBA titles, encountering very little resistance in many of their playoff series.
However, if they do have a main flaw, it’s that they can get extremely careless with the ball. They are traditionally near the top of the league in turnovers and frequently have a lot of miscues in the few games they do lose.
This year, that remains the case. When they turn the ball over at least 10 times, they are 4-1 and have a point differential of plus-6.8 per game. That seems very good on the surface, but it’s nothing compared to when they have 15 or fewer turnovers. In those scenarios, they are 6-0 and beat teams by an average of 19.5 points per contest.
The Warriors have mostly stayed clean with turnovers in their last several games. With the Bucks’ hot start, you’d think that the Warriors would take them seriously but Golden State has surprised us before with some very careless games against quality opponents. If they are careless, the athletic Bucks will make them pay in transition.
Will the Bucks Stay Somewhat Attack-Minded?
The Bucks’ three-point increase has overall been a huge positive for the team. One consequence of the uptick in outside attempts, though, is that they aren’t getting to the free-throw line as much this season.
Golden State is one team where attacking the rim might be beneficial. The Warriors will block a good amount of shots, but they’ll also foul a lot. Opponents average 25.2 free-throw attempts against them, which is the third-highest mark in the NBA. They have several big men who struggle with foul trouble, including Kevon Looney, Jonas Jerebko and Damian Jones.
If Milwaukee gets to the line a lot, it can also slow down the Warriors’ scoring in transition, which is so lethal.
Our Preview’s Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors Betting Picks & Predictions
The absences of Draymond Green and Shaun Livingston for the Warriors could hinder the Warriors’ defense against the Bucks. Green could have provided some resistance against Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, but other players will now have to step up.
I think Golden State is also a good opponent for Milwaukee to gets its slashing going. If the Bucks combine that with solid high-volume shooting from the outside, they should at least push the Warriors in the game.
- For the first of our Milwaukee Bucks vs Golden State Warriors predictions to beat the USA-facing odds setters, this preview likes Milwaukee to keep this one close or even upset the Warriors on the road. Place your bet on the Bucks +6pts @ -110 with Bovada.
- The over/under for this game is already high, but I do think these squads will still surpass the number. No Green and Livingston, who help anchor Golden State’s defense, will affect this game. Bet the over 240 total points @ -110 with Bovada, Bookmaker or Intertops.