|-6 MIL (-103) @ pinnacle|
My 10* Weekly Wipeout is on the Mil Bucks at 8:05 ET.
Milwaukee has had the NBA's best record in each of the last two seasons but did not make it to The Finals either time. Milwaukee's 130-115 home victory over Detroit on Wednesday ups the Bucks' record to 4-0 home, even while playing in an empty arena because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, the Bucks are just 1-3 on the road, leaving them with a modest 5-3 overall record (THREE teams from the East have six wins and Philly has seven). The 4-4 Utah Jazz will visit Fiserv Forum on Friday, coming off a game in MSG in which they blew an 18-point lead early in the second half of a 112-100 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. The Jazz sputtered on offense and defense in the third quarter and eventually the Knicks took control in the final minutes, scoring 68 points in the second half.
The Jazz don't lack for talent with SIX players averaging in double digits. Guards Mitchell (21.3-3.6-5.0) and Conley (17.4-4.1-5.1) start, while Clarkson (15.5) comes off the bench. Center Gobert is averaging a double-double at 13.9 & 13.1. The Bucks are led by forwards Antetokounmpo (26.1-10.8-5.4) and Middleton (21.1-6.1-6.1) plus newcomers Jrue Holiday (14.8-4.1-5.4) and Bobby Portis (11.4 & 8.0) have made an immediate impact. Both teams have excellent depth.
Defensive lapses and strings of careless turnovers are becoming a recurring problem for Utah. The Jazz have been roasted on a regular basis by hot-shooting guards this season and teams are no longer fearing Rudy Gobert around the basket as they have in past seasons. It all adds up to a team that has NOT held an opponent under 100 points so far this season and has allowed 116 points per game in its four losses (lost by an average of 15.5 PPG). Yes, Milwaukee is a modest 5-3 but take note that the Bucks own the best point-differential of any NBA team at plus-13.7, 4.9 PPG above the next beat team. Milwaukee averages a league-best 125.3 PPG, while shooting 50.5% from the floor, including 43.7% on threes (both percentages also rank No. 1 in the NBA). W-I-P-E-O-U-T Alert!