Warriors may not recognize their Oracle Arena as they have barely played there since the start of February. They are back home tonight and opening 12.5-point favorites on NBA odds against Bucks.
Since the start of February, Golden State (46-12) has played just two home games: a 128-114 win over Dallas on Feb. 4 and a 110-99 victory over San Antonio on Feb. 20. The Warriors have the NBA's best home mark at 24-2. They concluded a six-game road trip Monday night and in my mind the 110-108 loss in Brooklyn was rather predictable. That's because the night before, the Warriors exhausted themselves by rallying from a 26-point deficit to win in Boston. It tied the biggest comeback in the NBA this season and the second-biggest for Golden State this decade.
Against the Nets, the Warriors were definitely a little ragged until Steph Curry awoke in the fourth quarter with 18 points. Brooklyn had led by 10, but Curry tied the game at 108 on a jumper with 1:09 to play. Neither team would score again until Nets point guard Jarrett Jack dribbled down the clock and hit a jumper from near top of the key over Curry with 1.1 seconds left for the win. Curry couldn't get off a shot at the other end off an inbounds play. Jack and Pelicans star Anthony Davis are the only players to make multiple go-ahead shots in the final two seconds of a tie game in the fourth quarter or overtime this season.
Curry finished with 26 points after entering the fourth with only two field goals. His 18 points were the second-most by any player in the fourth quarter of a loss this season. Curry's backcourt running mate and fellow All-Star Klay Thompson really had heavy legs, hitting just 3-for-17 from the field for a season-low seven points. Starters Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green also looked tired in totaling just nine points.
Of course Warriors center Andrew Bogut was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Bucks. He was traded to Golden State on March 13, 2012, along with Stephen Jackson in exchange for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh. You'd have to say the Warriors won that deal.
Golden State is 34-23-1 against the NBA betting spread this season and 27-31 'over/under.'
Bucks Likely Tired
Milwaukee (32-28) concludes a four-game West Coast trip with this game and the Bucks are 0-3 on it, not having scored more than 95 points. They opened with losses at the Lakers and Jazz last weekend before a 106-95 defeat in Denver on Tuesday, the Nuggets' first game since firing Coach Brian Shaw. Denver avoided a franchise record-tying 11th straight home loss.
The Bucks are very good on defense, ranking third in the NBA (96.4 points per game), but they struggle to score some nights. In fact, the Bucks have reached 100 points only once in their past seven games and that was against terrible Philadelphia.
While the Warriors were quiet at the trade deadline, Milwaukee shipped out leading scorer Brandon Knight to Phoenix but got point guard Michael Carter-Williams back from Philadelphia. MCW isn't the scorer Knight is (Carter-Williams pretty much can't shoot at all) but is a couple of years younger and cheaper. Plus Knight is a restricted free agent after the season. Carter-Williams is averaging 10.5 points and 5.0 assists in four games with the Bucks. I like that trade for Milwaukee as if anyone can shape MCW's game it's his coach, future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd. He deserves some Coach of the Year consideration in his first season with the Bucks, especially considering the team lost top rookie Jabari Parker early in the season.
The Bucks are 35-25 against the spread this season and 26-34 'over/under' on NBA odds.
First meeting. Golden State swept both last year and has won consecutive games against Milwaukee for the first time since winning three straight from Dec. 5, 2007 to Dec. 10, 2008. In last season's game in Milwaukee, the Warriors won 101-80 behind 22 points and 18 rebounds from David Lee, who made his first nine shots. Curry and Thompson were held to 15 each. Ersan Ilyasova led Milwaukee with 20 points. In the matchup in Oakland, the Warriors won 115-110. Curry had 31 points and 10 assists and Thompson 29 points. Knight led Milwaukee with 27 points. Hard to read too much into last year as the Warriors are better than that club and the Bucks are way better than the team that finished with the worst record in the NBA.
Bucks vs. Warriors Pick: The Warriors have covered eight of their past 10 Wednesday games and nine of their past 12 vs. teams with a winning record. The Bucks are 1-4 ATS in their past five playing the second of a back-to-back. The 'over' is 5-1 in the Warriors' past six vs. teams with a winning record. Add Warriors and the Over to your NBA picks tonight.
NBA Free Pick: Golden State -12.5 & 'Over' 203.5 at 5Dimes