Time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
Where to watch: Bally Sports Wisconsin, Bally Sports Indiana
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
Pacers: 12-17 (13th place, Eastern Conference)
Bucks: 18-11 (3rd place, Eastern Conference)
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Pacers - Bucks preview and analysis
The COVID-19 situation continues to be problematic in the NBA, and it’s now reached the defending NBA champions.
The Milwaukee Bucks will be without Giannis Antetokounmpo on Wednesday when they host the struggling Indiana Pacers due to entering the league’s health and safety protocol.
Lines have not been released at the time of publishing, but one would expect it to sway heavily in the Pacers’ favor knowing the two-time MVP and reigning Finals MVP will not be available in the lineup.
Not that COVID is good news to anyone, but that’s good news for the Pacers who have won three out of four after losing five of six. Indiana is coming off a 102-100 win against the Golden State Warriors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a game that meant more to Steph Curry possibly breaking the all-time 3-point record than anything.
But it was another big night for Domantas Sabonis, going for 30 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Malcolm Brogdon was right there with 23, capped by Caris LeVert with 19 on 7 of 18 shooting.
"I know he was trying to get the record tonight and in my mind, I wasn't going to let him do it on our court," Brogdon said. "When you slow him down, you expect to win the game. We slowed him down."
Going against Giannis would’ve been a nightmare for Sabonis and Myles Turner, but the Indiana front court could have a chance to pick apart Milwaukee’s with Bobby Portis being the last line of defense.
The Bucks wrapped up a four-game road trip Monday with a 117-103 loss to the Boston Celtics. Antetokounmpo was held to just 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting, and Jrue Holiday also chipped in with 20 while the Bucks shots 44 percent from the floor and only attempted 15 free throws. But the night belonged to Jayson Tatum, who scored a team-high 42 points and had 16 of them in the fourth quarter.
"You have to give credit to those guys and we weren't at our best," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Whatever the reasons are, we've got to be better."
It’s not a fully healthy team playing for Milwaukee, and that’s why I need to give the edge to the Pacers. They’ve been playing well and played well enough to win against Golden State. Sabonis and Turner have big games against a depleted group up front in this matchup and get another win. Pacers by 12
The Pacers are 11-16 ATS against division opponents in their last 27.
The Pacers are 7-8 ATS this season when allowing 105 points or less.
The Bucks are 23-8 ATS in their last 31 against division opponents and 29-2 straight up.
The Bucks are 7-19 ATS after a stretch of three straight road games.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Malcolm Brogdon
SG: Caris LeVert
SF: Torrey Craig
PF: Domantas Sabonis
C: Myles Turner
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Grayson Allen
SF: Khris Middleton
PF: Jordan Nwora
C: Bobby Portis
Pacers: Justin Holiday (conditioning, questionable), T.J. Warren (foot, out)
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo (COVID, out), Wesley Matthews (COVID, out), Khris Middleton (questionable), DeMarcus Cousins (personal, out)
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