This will be the second and last meeting between the two teams this season, with the first one (on January 15) being a tight affair that came down to the final seconds.
The Milwaukee Bucks ultimately escaped with a 112-109 win on their home floor as Khris Middleton made two clutch three-pointers and a couple of crunch-time free throws down the stretch. They survived a horrendous shooting night at the line, making just 12-of-25, with Giannis Antetokounpo connecting on only one of his 10 free-throw attempts.
The Dallas Mavericks will undoubtedly remember how they almost had the game in hand until Middleton’s heroics decided the outcome.
The loss snapped the Mavs’ four-game winning streak at the time, while the Milwaukee Bucks extended their own string of victories to four games.
Fixture - Dallas Mavericks vs Milwaukee Bucks | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Thursday, April 8th, 9:00 PM ET (Friday, April 9th, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue - American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Dallas Mavericks Preview
The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Houston Rockets 102-93 on Wednesday, with John Wall scoring 31 points against them. The Mavs had difficulty putting the ball in the hole, shooting just 37.9 percent from the field and 25.6 percent from behind the arc. The loss snapped their five-game winning streak.
It was an unusually poor shooting night for the Dallas Mavericks, who are 10th in the league in offensive rating. During their winning streak, they were scoring 111.8 points per game, with the lowest at 99.
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will have to chalk this up to an aberration and prepare for the Milwaukee Bucks' arrival with a better game plan.
Key Player - Luka Doncic
Playing on back-to-back nights, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has less than 24 hours to snap out of a shooting slump. He had 23 points versus the Houston Rockets but was 9-of-26 from the field, including 1-of-9 from 3-point territory.
That’s an almost unforgivable stat line that Doncic will want to make up for in the next game.
However, his task is made more difficult as the two-time All-Star faces one of the best wing defenders in the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jrue Holiday.
One of the top playmakers in the NBA, Doncic is averaging 28.6 points and 8.8 assists per game. He leads the Dallas Mavericks in win shares at 5.6, and the game’s result will depend largely on how he plays.
Dallas Mavericks Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Luka Doncic l Shooting Guard - Josh Richardson l Small Forward - Dorian Finney-Smith l Power Forward - Nicolo Melli l Center - Kristaps Porzingis
Milwaukee Bucks Preview
Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful for the Milwaukee Bucks' game against the Dallas Mavericks due to knee soreness. If he doesn’t play, this would be his third straight missed game.
The Milwaukee Bucks are 1-1 with the Greek Freak absent in their last two outings and are 3-2 overall this season when he sits out.
Against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks dropped a 122-121 nail-biter. Stephen Curry scored 41 points, including a clutch three, with 1:06 left in the game to give the visitors a 120-117 lead. Jrue Holiday had 29 points and Middleton had 28 to lead the Bucks.
When they take on the Dallas Mavericks, the Milwaukee Bucks will be relieved knowing it's their last road game before coming home. However, they have to avoid losing focus like they did in the waning moments of the game on Tuesday.
Key Player - Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday will have to cut off the head of the snake when they face the Dallas Mavericks. That means his primary assignment is to stop Luka Doncic from facilitating the offense and knocking down most of his shots on Wednesday night.
If the 6-foot-3 guard from UCLA can overcome Doncic, it gives the Milwaukee Bucks a better chance at winning the game.
Offensively, Holiday will have to carry more of the offensive load, with Antetokounmpo potentially out once again.
Even if the reigning MVP were to play, it would be up to the Milwaukee Bucks point guard to set the tone for his teammates and create his own shots.
That’s the responsibility on Holiday’s shoulders heading into the Dallas Mavericks match.
Milwaukee Bucks Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Jrue Holiday l Shooting Guard - Donte DiVincenzo l Small Forward - Khris Middleton l Power Forward - Bobby Portis l Center - Brook Lopez
Mavericks vs Bucks Match Prediction
Should Antetokounmpo be absent from the game, the Milwaukee Bucks will have a difficult task trying to stop one of the better offensive teams in the NBA. The reigning MVP leads the team in win shares at 2.6, and to remove him from the equation could be disastrous in the long haul.
The Dallas Mavericks are a mediocre defensive team (15th in defensive rating), so the Milwaukee Bucks have a shot at stealing a win. This match will likely be a close one, with the Mavs having won 10 of their last 14 home games.
Ultimately, with the visitors likely worn out from a lengthy road trip, it will be Doncic and company who will come out on top.
Where to watch Mavericks vs Bucks
The Dallas Mavericks-Milwaukee Bucks game will be televised locally by Bally Sports Wisconsin and Bally Sports Southwest Dallas. For international viewers, the game will be shown live on the NBA League Pass.