NBA Game Preview: Milwaukee Bucks at Memphis Grizzlies

Dec 15, 2022

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Game: Milwaukee Bucks @ Memphis Grizzlies

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Odds: Bucks +1.5, Grizzlies -1.5

Total: 227

The Milwaukee Bucks will be on a high when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies tonight after a thrashing of the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Former two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 30 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists as Milwaukee easily defeated the Warriors on Tuesday, 128-111. Off the bench, Bobby Portis added 25 points and 11 rebounds for his 16th double-double.

Antetokounmpo surpassed 22,113 minutes played passing Hall of Famer Bob Dandridge (22,094), who previously held the franchise record. Antetokounmpo has now played for the Bucks for 10 seasons and is having another MVP-caliber season.

Khris Middleton also got in on the action with 20 points against Golden State. It was an encouraging performance as Middleton has had a rocky start to the 2022-23 season. He missed the first 20 games after having wrist surgery in July.

Coming into tonight the Grizzlies have won six straight games and eight of their last nine. Much of the success is largely due to some unexpected players like Tyus Jones. Jones led the way in Memphis’ most recent encounter, a 128-103 drubbing of the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. Jones scored 22 points to lead seven other Grizzlies in double figures. He also added a season-high 11 assists and three steals.

Jaren Jackson Jr. stepped up, especially on defense, as he tied a franchise record with eight blocks in addition to his 15 points and seven rebounds. With Jackson and Jones stepping up, it filled the void for injured Grizzlies like Steven Adams and Ja Morant.

Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins isn’t surprised by Jones’ or Jackson’s play. Jackson will be one of the keys tonight as he will be tasked with defending Antetokounmpo.  Jenkins is expected to get both Adams and Morant back in the lineup tonight. Both players are listed as probable on the Memphis injury report.

Tonight is also big for Jenkins who spent time working as Mike Budenholzer’s assistant. Jenkins was an assistant coach while Budenholzer was the head coach in Atlanta.  Jenkins spent five years in Atlanta before moving with Budenholzer to Milwaukee, where he worked as an assistant for a year before taking over as Memphis’ head coach.

The two teams split a pair of games last season. Tonight is the first meeting of this season. Neither team has won back-to-back games since Milwaukee did it in 2019. The Bucks are 5-1 SU in their last six games. They are 3-2-1 ATS in those games.

In addition to the six straight wins, Memphis is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games. The Grizzlies shot over 60 percent in their win on Monday over Atlanta. It was the fourth time in their last six games that Memphis scored 117 or more points. The Grizzlies have poured on the points in the last three meetings with the Bucks averaging 123 points. The last three games in the series have averaged a total of 237.3 points.

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