In the NBA, there are are games when a team will step up their game for, often for arch rivals and contending teams. So it feels great to see the Wizards beat the Cavaliers on Friday. However, it's important that they keep that same focus tonight as they play the Bucks on the road. Some notes below.
Where and when is the game? 8:30 p.m. at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Where can I watch this game? You can watch this on Comcast SportsNet Plus or stream it on the NBC Sports Live app, if you have a qualifying cable provider.
Who's out? For the Wizards, Glen Rice (D-League) and Martell Webster (back) will be out. For the Bucks, Johnny O'Bryant (Knee) and Damien Inglis (Foot) are out.
How good are the Bucks? If you asked me in the preseason, I'd say that the Bucks wouldn't be a good team. But they currently are 7-6, and have wins over playoff-caliber (or better) teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat.
I haven't had too much time to watch this team besides during the home opener earlier this month, but the numbers are already showing that this team is a strong defensive team with Larry Sanders in the middle. They also are a weak offensive team, where they have a rating of 99.9, good for 28th in the league.
Where do the Wizards and Bucks rank against each other statistically? Four Factor ratings, offensive and defensive rating numbers are below. Numbers in parentheses are where the teams rank in the NBA. The numbers come from Basketball Reference, and do not include figures from Friday night's games:
|OFFENSE FOUR FACTORS||DEFENSE FOUR FACTORS||RATINGS|
|Team||eFG%||TOV%||ORB%||FT/FGA||eFG%||TOV%||DRB%||FT/FGA||OFF RAT||DEF RAT|
|Wizards||49.4% (18)||12.6% (11)||22.4% (23)||22.7% (13)||49.2% (14)||15.7% (4)||75.7% (11)||22.9% (20)||104.8 (21)||103 (8)|
|Bucks||47.7% (22)||15.3% (22)||26.8% (8)||19.4% (23)||49% (12)||15.1% (7)||73.2% (21)||22.2% (18)||99.9 (28)||103.2 (9)|
Who wins? This is a "trap game" of sorts, and given that the Wizards may be emotionally spent from Friday, it's possible that they will lose to Milwaukee tonight. They are coming off a 124-83 blowout loss to the Raptors. This team is young and will want to get that bad taste out of their mouths. What better way to do that than by beating the team that's the #2 seed in the East? But I'm an optimist.
TL;dr version: I think they'll pull off a close victory, given that the Wizards are a slightly better offensive team than the Bucks.