Bucks vs. Lakers

Bucks vs. Lakers | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

Written by on April 1, 2021

It’s a potential NBA Finals preview on Wednesday – although the Lakers will be missing superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis – as two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Los Angeles Lakers. Because L.A. is short-handed, the Bucks are sizable favorites on the NBA odds.

How to Bet Bucks at Lakers NBA Odds & TV Info
  • When: Wednesday, 10 PM ET
  • Where: Staples Center
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • NBA Odds: Bucks -8 (total 223.5)
Last Meeting

On Jan. 21, the Lakers won in Milwaukee 113-106. The game pitted the reigning NBA champion Lakers against a Bucks team that posted the league’s best regular-season record each of the last two years. LeBron James had 34 points.  The Lakers shot 19 of 37 from 3-point range, with James going 6 of 10 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope making 7 of 10. Caldwell-Pope had 23 points, while Anthony Davis had 18. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, but he also committed nine turnovers. Jrue Holiday had 22 points and Khris Middleton 20.

Why Bet on Milwaukee? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

The Bucks played in another potential NBA Finals preview on Monday at the Clippers and were blown out for a third straight loss, 129-105, even though Los Angeles was without starters Paul George, Patrick Beverley and Serge Ibaka. The Clippers made 19 3-pointers, one off their season high. They hit eight in the fourth, when they stretched a 13-point lead to 24 points. Los Angeles owned a 25-6 edge in second-chance points and outrebounded the Bucks, 46-32.

Giannis Antetokounmpo hit 10-fo-21 shots and 10-of-12 free throws for 32 points, six rebounds, three assists and a block in 34 minutes. Giannis had scored just 16 and 13 points in his previous two games. Jrue Holiday added 24 points in the opener of a six-game trip, the Bucks’ longest of the second half. Khris Middleton was held to 15 points.

The Bucks came in tied for first in the NBA in scoring with an average of 119.3 points. After getting off to a fast start in the first quarter, Milwaukee’s offense went ice cold. Brook Lopez picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and disappeared after that. He finished with seven points in 22 minutes while finishing minus-14.

Top reserve Bobby Portis did not travel with the Bucks to L.A. for Monday’s game due to health and safety protocols.  It’s unknown if he’ll be available on the road trip at all. Portis has been an important bench player for the Bucks this season. Recent trade acquisition PJ Tucker missed the game with a minor injury.

Point guard Jeff Teague will sign with the Bucks but surely won’t play Wednesday yet. Teague was dealt to the Orlando Magic as part of the Evan Fournier trade, then waived days later.  Currently playing in his 12th NBA season, Teague’s numbers over his well-traveled career are respectable, averaging 12.3 points on a .444/.359/.844 slash line, 2.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. He brings a handful of postseason experience to Milwaukee with 71 playoff games played.

Why Bet on LA Lakers? | 2021 NBA Expert Analysis

The Lakers won their second in a row Sunday, 96-93 over a bad Orlando team. Montrezl Harrell had an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double, adding two steals and two blocks. He’s been a double-double machine since LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (calf) went down. Harrell has recorded four double-doubles over the Lakers’ past six games, averaging 21.0 points (on 66.2 percent shooting from the floor) and 9.3 rebounds in 32.0 minutes per game to go with 1.0 blocks, 0.8 steals and 0.7 assists.

Kyle Kuzma notched 21 points, 11 rebounds and four assists across 39 minutes in Sunday’s win. Markieff Morris finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, one steal and one block. The Lakers tallied 52 rebounds in the win, improving to 9-2 this season when recording 50+ boards.

Guard Wesley Matthews tweaked his right ankle during the final possession of Sunday’s win and after spending some time hunched over after the buzzer, he gingerly walked back to the locker room so monitor him for this game.

Former All-Star center Andre Drummond has signed with the Lakers after being bought out by Cleveland and clearing waivers, but since Drummond hasn’t played in a game for weeks, it’s not likely he’s out there Wednesday.

Cleveland pulled him from the rotation in mid-February while searching for a trade partner for the nine-year veteran with career averages of 14.6 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Drummond had other options — the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics were among the teams reportedly interested — but called the Lakers “just the best fit.”

The Lakers hold an 83-56 all-time series advantage vs. Milwaukee but are 3-7 in their last 10 meetings even with that earlier win. The Lakers are 52-16 all-time at home in the series and 13-7 at Staples Center. Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd was the head coach of the Bucks from 2014-18.

Expert Prediction
  • Bucks 118, Lakers 110
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