Clippers vs Bucks Analysis: Will Kawhi Leonard & Antetokounmpo affecting NBA Betting?

Clippers vs Bucks Analysis: Will Kawhi Leonard & Antetokounmpo affecting NBA Betting?

It’s a possible NBA Finals preview on Friday night when the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Los Angeles Clippers, but LA star Kawhi Leonard already has been ruled out for rest and it’s quite possible the Bucks sit their best player, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, because they have on several occasions this year in the second of a back-to-back, which this is for Milwaukee. Needless to say, the NBA odds are a bit in flux for the 10:30 PM ET tipoff.

Kawhi Leonard Out For Clippers vs. Bucks Friday; Will Giannis Antetokounmpo Also Sit?


When: February 10th, 2023
Where: Arena

Time: 10:30 PM EST

There is one reason why Giannis might play the second of a B2B: No travel last night because the Bucks won at the Los Angeles Lakers 115-106 so they didn’t even have to change hotels ahead of tonight’s game at Arena. Antetokounmpo posted 38 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. It was his ninth straight double-double. Since returning from a five-game injury absence, the Greek Freak has averaged 37.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

Khris Middleton had 22 points, five rebounds and three assists in just 25 minutes. He came off the bench for the ninth straight game following a lengthy injury absence. The 25 minutes were the most he has played since Dec. 13 against Golden State. He is rounding into form, averaging 18.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists over his past five contests.

Center Brook Lopez played through a non-COVID illness and had nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 33 minutes. Lopez continues to have a strong year in his 15th season in the NBA as he’s averaging his most points per game (14.3) since the 2016-17 season in addition to ranking second in the league with a career-high 2.43 blocks per game. He’s a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Thursday was the Bucks’ ninth straight win. They are averaging 125.6 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field – far better than their season averages of 114.5 ppg and 46.3 FG%.

Ahead of Thursday’s Trade Deadline, the Bucks landed Jae Crowder from Brooklyn but he won’t debut here. Crowder, who hasn’t played all season after agreeing with the Suns to sit out while Phoenix explored trades for the veteran forward, was dealt to Nets on Wednesday night as part of the trade package sent by the Suns for All-NBA forward Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren. The Nets then re-routed him to Milwaukee as part of a multiteam trade that included the Indiana Pacers.


The Bucks gave up five second-round picks — three to the Pacers and two (2028 and 2029) to the Nets. Indiana also got forward Jordan Nwora, guard George Hill and center/forward Serge Ibaka from the Bucks, as well as cash considerations from the Nets. None of those guys played much for Milwaukee.

The Clippers were upset 110-104 at home by Dallas on Wednesday in Kyrie Irving’s Mavericks debut – the Clippers wanted him as well. Kawhi had 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. Over the past three weeks, he has averaged 28.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals, but LA will play it cautious with his injury history.

LA made a few trades on Thursday in landing Mason Plumlee from Charlotte, Eric Gordon from Houston and Bones Hyland from Denver but none are expected to debut tonight. The Clippers also have been linked to Russell Westbrook when he’s bought out by the Utah Jazz.

Milwaukee goes for the season sweep as it beat the visiting Clippers 106-105 last Thursday. After being down as many as 21 points in the third quarter, the Bucks ended the frame on a 15-6 run to overcome the deficit and enter the fourth quarter down just nine points.

Antetokounmpo switched into a new gear, scoring 20 points and hauling in 10 rebounds in the fourth quarter alone. Antetokounmpo was sent to the line with 1:47 remaining in the game and a chance to take the lead. He knocked down both free throws to put the Bucks on top 106-105. Milwaukee’s defense forced the Clippers to miss their final shot attempts. Giannis had 54 points and 18 rebounds.

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