The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips as Giannis and his Milwaukee Bucks host Zion’s New Orleans Pelicans.
13:30 (AEDT), Fri 26th Feb @ Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee
History: Played 40: Pelicans 27 V Bucks 13
Last meeting: January 29, 2021: Pelicans 131 d Bucks 126 at Smoothie King Center
Final Thoughts: Milwaukee Bucks are chasing four straight wins and a bit of revenge when they host New Orleans Pelicans.
The teams squared off in New Orleans in late-January, with the Pelicans claiming a 131-126 upset. Starting five Lonzo Ball (27 pts, 8 ast), Brandon Ingram (28 pts, 4 ast), Eric Bledsoe (25 pts, 4 ast), Zion Williamson (21 pts, 9 reb, 7 ast) and Steven Adams (20 reb) all made huge contributions.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (38 pts, 11 reb, 5 ast) and Jrue Holiday (22 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast) were standouts in a Bucks side that that fought back from a 23-point halftime deficit.
The result snapped a four-game losing streak against the Bucks for the Pels.
Bucks and Pelicans turn a corner
The 19-13 Bucks are third in the East, beating the Thunder, Kings and Timberwolves by 13-plus margins in their last three. Antetokounmpo has been in red-hot form this past week, averaging 34.3 points, 15 rebounds and 6.7 assists in the trio of victories.
Milwaukee are still sweating on Holiday’s return. Meanwhile, Khris Middleton has a point to prove after his All-Star snub.
After a rough 1-5 run, the Pelicans have won their last two against the Celtics (120-115 in OT) and Pistons (128-118). Williamson (32 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast), Ingram (27 pts, 7 reb, 8 ast) and Adams (14 pts, 15 reb) gear up for the Bucks showdown with big games against Detroit. They are 14-17 and still in the Western Conference play-in tournament mix.
New Orleans are seventh in the NBA for points per game but 25th for points conceded. Their brittle defence is a concern coming up against the league’s second-most point offence. Meanwhile, the Bucks have covered in half of their games and the Pelicans are near the bottom end with a 13-18 ATS record.
The recent form surge of Williamson and Ingram is highly encouraging as the Pels attempt another Bucks boilover. But they are just 5-10 on the road and visiting a team with a 12-4 home record, whose last six home wins came by 14 points or more.
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