October 24, 2018
By Eric Peterson
The Bucks (3-0), will receive their first true test under national attention Wednesday night, as they host the Philadelphia 76ers (2-2) on ESPN.
Milwaukee is playing off a victory and a day’s rest, whereas Philadelphia lost an intense overtime battle with the Detroit Pistons last night. Here’s some of the key matchups to watch for:
Eric Bledsoe vs. Markelle Fultz
Veteran vs. rookie matchup here. Eric Bledsoe has been outstanding in the first three games of the year and he will look to validate that against a deeper Sixers team. Markelle Fultz on the other hand is still averaging only 9.5 points per contest, but he’s a low-usage option on this Philly offense and will have a hard time keeping up with the speedy Bledsoe.
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Ben Simmons
Technical rookie of the year Ben Simmons is in for a rude awakening defensively tonight, especially if he’s the primary defender on the Greek Freak. Robert Covington or Dario Saric may draw the assignment if Simmons is unable to go (did not play last night against Detroit and is listed questionable for today), but Giannis switching onto Simmons will be barbecue chicken down low.
Brook Lopez vs. Joel Embiid
This will be tonight’s big man matchup barring any surprise resting from Sixers head coach Brett Brown. We will have to see what Mike Budenholzer does matchup wise with Embiid, as Lopez may have a difficult time keeping up with Embiid. John Henson appears to have the backup role for the time being, but Christian Wood/Thon Maker would love a shot against Embiid.
What to look for if you are playing this game on www.statementgames.com
Team: Bucks OVER 115.5 points
The Bucks have averaged 118.3 points per contest through the first three games and are firing triples on all cylinders. This different offensive scheme has allowed them to increase their scoring. Pick the over.
Rebounds: Giannis OVER 11.5 rebounds
Giannis continues to be a menace on the boards, creating many 2nd (and 3rd) chance opportunities for himself, inflating his rebound average big time. Pick the over.
Points: Khris Middleton OVER 21.5 points
Khris Middleton went on a 30-point barrage against the Knicks on Monday, including seven three-point makes. With the increase in three-point attempts, Middleton is easily Milwaukee’s best three-point shooter, and should garner plenty of attempts that will propel him to another mid-20/30 point performance. Pick the over.