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Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21) drives to the basket for a layup over Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan (11). (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire)
March 24th, 2022
The Wizards and Bucks will battle tonight in a game with significant playoff implications for Milwaukee.
Coach Bud’s streaking squad is tied for second place in the Eastern Conference along with the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. All three teams are just 1.5 games behind the Miami Heat, and a victory over the reeling Wizards this evening would bring Milwaukee one step closer to achieving home court advantage for the first three rounds of the postseason. That’s an especially attractive proposition for the Bucks, who are 25-12 at Fiserv Forum this year, and posted the NBA’s best home winning percentage in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
There’s considerably less on the line for the Wizards, whose 2021-22 campaign has been far from magical. Washington has lost eight of its last 10 games and is five games out of the final play-in spot with 11 games remaining. At this stage in the year, the franchise’s beleaguered front office is likely rooting for more ping pong balls rather than more victories.
The last time these two teams clashed on Feb. 1, Milwaukee pulled off a breezy 112-98 wire-to-wire win. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 33 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists and the Bucks thoroughly dominated the Wizards on the glass and in the paint.
Will Washington roll over and play dead again tonight? Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, and have the three best player prop bets below.
It’s always surprising when a player’s projected point total is markedly below his season average, but that’s the scenario we have with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who is averaging 12.5 points per game in 2021-22. Granted, the veteran shooting guard has seen his usage increase significantly since Bradley Beal was ruled out for the remainder of the season on Feb. 8, but KCP has still experienced more lows than highs in the 18 games since. That includes three games in which he failed to crack double digits.
Knock down!#DCAboveAll pic.twitter.com/9n0NjpeYAy— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 20, 2022
Knock down!#DCAboveAll pic.twitter.com/9n0NjpeYAy
Caldwell-Pope has also had his issues with the Bucks’ ball-hawking defense this season. He managed just five points on 2-6 shooting against Milwaukee on Nov. 7, and 12 points on 4-11 shooting on Feb. 1. Those numbers are in keeping with his uninspiring career averages against the Bucks, as he’s averaging 11.7 points in 26 games, including 22 starts.
The Bucks come into tonight’s game with their eyes firmly fixed on the prize, and will be motivated to put the clamps on KCP. Take the Under.
Grayson Allen began his professional career as one of the most hated men in America, but he’s been warmly embraced in Milwaukee, where he’s become a key contributor to the Bucks’ fourth-ranked offense. The 26-year-old shooting guard is averaging a career-high 11.2 points per game in his first season in Cream City, and has become a much-needed release valve on offense thanks to his reliable 3-point stroke.
Grayson Allen loves hoopin' in March! #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/OoHT9o9dTO— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) March 19, 2022
Grayson Allen loves hoopin' in March! #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/OoHT9o9dTO
Unlike KCP, who has struggled against the Bucks, Allen has flourished against the Wizards. The fourth-year shooting guard dropped 19 points on 6-12 shooting against Washington on Nov. 7, and scored 10 points on 4-9 shooting on Feb. 1. Allen has also been hot lately, surpassing 10 points in five of his last seven games.
Allen likely won’t set the scoreboard ablaze tonight, but he’s a highly-efficient shooter and dependable scorer who should easily eclipse double figures.
The Wizards are a bit of an enigma. Although they’ve limited opponents to the fewest 3-point attempts per game of any team in the NBA this season, they’ve also allowed opponents to shoot a robust 35.8% from beyond the arc. That’s one of the best marks in the Association, and it plays into the hands of a steady marksman like Jrue Holiday. The former All-Star is nailing 1.9 3-pointers this season, and hit three of his four 3-point heaves the last time he faced Washington on Feb. 1.
Holiday has also been taking – and making – multiple treys per game lately. "Kung Fu Jrue" has made two 3-pointers or more in four of his last five games and is a solid bet to continue to his hot streak tonight.
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