Today’s matchup between the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks has the potential to be a real shootout between two of the best offenses in the NBA. The real question is can Dallas get enough stops to slow down the best team in the East?
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks
Saturday, August 08, 2020 – 08:30 PM EDT at Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, FL
Dallas Defense Has to Improve On Defense
The Dallas Mavericks have had the number one ranked offense in the NBA for most of the season. On defense, they are middle of the pack where they rank 17th. The problem for the Mavs since the restart is that they've been much worse than that defensively. It's only been 4 games but they currently rank 20th on defense out of 22 teams in the bubble. Just to give you a better idea of how bad they've been, when the season was suspended, the Wizards were the worst defense in the league giving up 115.6 points per 100 possessions. Right now Dallas is giving up 117.9 points per 100 possessions which is why they are 1-3 in the bubble right now.
Today they face a massive test in the form of Giannis Antetokunmpo and the number one overall Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks also bring to town the number one defense in the NBA although that has not been the case so far in Orlando. Now we know that nobody in the league can guard the Greek Freak but one look at Dallas's roster and it's clear that this is a game where Dwight Powell's services will be missed. While Powell is obviously nowhere near the player that Giannis is, in terms of size and athleticism, he can at least hold his own. Same applies to Willie Cauley-Stein who is also unavailable in Orlando. Without those two, Giannis might really go off here with nobody (I can't see Porzingis matching up with him) to stop him.
Bucks Have Been Having Defensive Issues
Since the restart, the Bucks have been giving up over 117 points per game which would have them 15th out of 22 teams in the bubble. It's championship or bust in Milwaukee and I think that they know that they will have to improve dramatically in that category in order to accomplish their ultimate goal.
That said, I'm not sure Dallas is the team that they will be able to slow down. Remember, even that game the other day that they lost to Brooklyn where they rested their starter at halftime, Brooklyn had 73 points in that first half. Whatever is going on with Milwaukee on defense, I think Dallas can exploit and put up at least their average so far in the bubble which is 116.7 (3rd in the bubble).
Offensively, they've been the leading scorers in Orlando and I expect more of the same in this matchup. Not being able to slow down Giannis will force a lot of double teams and the Greek Freak has shown a lot of maturity in his game this season when double teams do arrive. It's the reason he is averaging a very impressive 5.8 assists per game which leads his team.
A quick look at the NBA odds for today and this total is by far the highest on the board. There is a good reason for that as mentioned earlier with both teams in the top three in scoring since play resumed. While the Bucks do have what it takes to slow the Mavs down, offense has been the only consistent part of Dallas' game so far and while Milwaukee's defense has looked suspect.
There's one more reason I think this will be a high scoring affair. These two teams met earlier this season and the Mavs defeated the Bucks 120-116. Even though that was all the way back in December, Dallas put up 120 without Luka Doncic on the best defense in the NBA. I'm banking on them being able to at least do something similar with him back in the lineup while I am convinced that Dallas can't possibly slow this Bucks team down. Of all the NBA lines available today, I'm going with BookMaker and taking the over 232.5 in this game. (Read our BookMaker Review)