Time: 6 p.m. ET
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
Where to watch: Bally Sports Wisconsin, NBC Sports Washington
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Bucks -3
BetMGM: Bucks -3
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Bucks - Wizards preview and analysis
Bucks: lost four of five, lost 113-98 vs. Knicks on Friday
Wizards: 3-2 in last five, won 115-87 vs. Grizzlies on Friday
The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks are getting healthy slowly but surely.
But how does a team react after blowing a 21-point lead and still losing by 15?
The Bucks are coming off just that to the New York Knicks on Friday and will try to bounce back Sunday when they face the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.
After the first quarter, the Bucks forgot there were three more. Milwaukee was up 38-19 after the first and proceeded to be outscored in every quarter since. The Knicks outscored the Bucks 57-35 in the second half.
"It was a struggle. Defensively, we lost our identity." Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We just didn't play well after a good start."
Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 25 points but only on 7 of 17 shooting. Grayson Allen had 22 points, but once again, the Bucks’ depth failed them. Jrue Holiday returned to action with only 10 points off the bench and five turnovers, while the Bucks as a group shot 40 percent from the floor.
The Knicks’ athleticism and ability to attack the Bucks’ small-ball lineup with Antetokounmpo at center paid off. Julius Randle had a game-high 32 points to go with 12 rebounds while RJ Barrett chipped in with a solid 20 points.
Washington got off a two-game slide with a resounding 28-point win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. Seven players scored in double figures led by Montrezl Harrell’s 18 off the bench. Bradley Beal did his thing, per usual, and had 17 points.
"We played a pretty good defensive game tonight. Did a decent job on their best player," Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. "Some of that is, when our offense is clicking, they're taking the ball out of the net. Gives us a chance to set our defense."
The Wizards are going to be a strong defensive group under Unseld and that’s shown early in the season. Washington is more focused on that side of the ball now that Russell Westbrook is in Los Angeles.
The Bucks have to find a way to stay above water with the rest of the injuries they’re dealing with. This group should be able to score at a minimum to stay competitive, but this could be a matchup that plays into Washington’s hands. Holiday is likely going to guard Beal, which leaves Allen on Dinwiddie; a defensive nightmare for Milwaukee. Bobby Portis or Giannis taking on Kyle Kuzma is also going to be a problem. I like Washington outright. Wizards by 7
The Bucks are 3-0 ATS this season as a road favorite.
The Bucks are 1-5 ATS this season following an under.
The Wizards are 5-0 ATS this season when the line is between +3 and -3.
Washington is 5-1 ATS in its past six following a win of 20 points or more.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Grayson Allen
SF: Pat Connaughton
PF: Bobby Portis
C: Giannis Antetokounmpo
PG: Spencer Dinwiddie
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Daniel Gafford
Bucks: C Brook Lopez (back, out), SF Khris Middleton (COVID, out), SG Donte DiVincenzo (ankle, out)
Wizards: SF Davis Bertans (ankle, out), PF Rui Hachimura (conditioning, out)
Points: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 27.1
Rebounds: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 10.3
Assists: Giannis Antetokounmpo -- 6.1
Points: Bradley Beal -- 23.5
Rebounds: Montrezl Harrell -- 9.7
Assists: Spencer Dinwiddie -- 5.9
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