The Milwaukee Bucks will take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday at Fiserv Forum. Milwaukee is 19-3 overall and 9-1 at home, while Los Angeles is 16-6 overall and 3-5 on the road. The Bucks are going for their 14th consecutive victory. Milwaukee is on its longest winning streak since the 1973-74 season. Milwaukee has not lost since Nov. 8 at Utah. The Clippers are quite hot themselves, having won nine of their past 10 games. Milwaukee is favored by 3.5 points in the latest Bucks vs. Clippers odds, while the over-under is set at 233. Before entering any Clippers vs. Bucks picks, you'll want to see the NBA predictions from the model at SportsLine.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated NBA spread and money line picks. It's already returned over $1,400 in profit on all its top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 7 on a blistering 15-3 run on all top-rated NBA against the spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, it has simulated Bucks vs. Clippers 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
The Bucks made easy work of Detroit on Wednesday and took a 127-103 win. The contest was all but wrapped up at the end of the third, by which point the Bucks had established a 92-72 advantage. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 35 points and nine rebounds, his 13th game of at least 30 points this season. The the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player is averaging 31.0 points per game and 13.2 rebounds. He ranks second in the NBA in scoring and fourth in rebounds.
The Bucks defeated the Clippers on Nov. 6, 129-124. Antetokounmpo had 38 points and 16 rebounds in that meeting. The Clippers rested Kawhi Leonard in that game and Paul George was still out as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.
Los Angeles' and Portland's game on Tuesday was close at halftime, but the Clippers turned on the jets in the second half with 55 points in the117-97 victory. Among those leading the charge for the Clippers was Montrezl Harrell, who had 26 points along with nine boards. George scored 25 points, making six of seven 3-point attempts.
The Bucks come into the matchup boasting the highest field goal percentage in the league at 48.4. The Clippers rank second in the league when it comes to rebounds per game, with 49 on average.
So who wins Clippers vs. Bucks? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Clippers vs. Bucks spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.
The Boston Celtics will reap rewards by exchanging a valuable chip for Steven Adams.
Former NBA executives Wes Wilcox and Amin Elhassan argued Thursday on Sirius XM NBA Radio the Celtics should consider trading Gordon Hayward in a package for the Oklahoma City Thunder center. Wilcox and Elhassan believe acquiring a center of Adams’ ability would put Boston firmly among the ranks of Eastern Conference favorites, alongside the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.
“If Steven Adams ends up in Boston, I think it would change the landscape and dynamics of the Eastern Conference,” Wilcox said.
“Steven Adams is probably the most gettable, attractive trade pierce on the market,” Elhassan added.
Hayward can enter free agency this summer if he opts out of the final year of his 4-year, $128 million contract. Elhassan believes this option will drive up the Thunder’s asking price in any trade for Adams that centers around Hayward.
“I would say ‘no’ from the Oklahoma City side because everything we’ve heard is that their asking price for Steve Adams is so ridiculously high, plus he has two years left on a very affordable (contract) number for a guy with his production,” Elhassen said of a straight-up Adams for Hayward trade propsal. “I can’t see them saying ‘ah, we’ll just trade him for a guy that’s going to opt out and leave in the offseason.’ There has to be a ton of stuff attached to Gordon Hayward for them to consider.”
Steven Adams to the #Celtics?
Our resident front office insiders @DarthAmin & Wes Wilcox believe he could take the Celtics to the next level pic.twitter.com/7lQMNnHIv4
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) December 5, 2019
Adams, 26, is averaging 10.4 points and 9 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per game this season. He’s set to earn $25.8 million this season and $27.5 million in 2020-21, after which he can become a free agent.
Hayward, 29, is expected to be out until Christmas due to a broken hand. He was playing well prior to his Nov. 9 injury, averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in eight games.
Although Hayward finally was starting to look like the All-Star caliber player again, his previously uncertain form and contract future have kept his name in trade rumors for months.
With Adams thought to be on the market and the Celtics apparently needing frontcourt help, the aforementioned trade idea probably won’t go away anytime soon.
Thumbnail photo via Alonzo Adams/USA TODAY Sports Images
SAN ANTONIO — The NBA is embarrassed, with mainly itself to blame. Now its only available solutions are imperfect ones.
The Rockets’ original position on the matter was correct, but whether or not they were right hardly matters anymore. They had the power to make the headache go away, and instead they just made it worse.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
Yes, the trivial ramifications of this week’s disappearing dunk at the AT&T Center pale in comparison to the geopolitical fallout from October’s NBA-China firestorm. The only thing at stake this time is the outcome of a basketball game, and even that might not matter to anyone five months from now.
But once again the Rockets did a poor job engendering sympathy, and there’s probably no franchise in the league that the commissioner is in less of a mood to entertain a protest from.
At least this time James Harden didn’t apologize to the wrong country. But he flubbed the last seven minutes of regulation almost as badly.
So what is the league supposed to make of this mess? Well, here are some things we know to be true:
1. The officials indisputably botched it.
With 7:50 remaining Tuesday in a game Houston led by 13, Harden’s breakaway dunk clearly went through the net before the ball flipped back over the rim. It should have counted. For whatever reason, it didn’t.
Referee James Capers told a pool reporter the original call was basket interference on Harden, which was wrong. But Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said another official told him that Harden missed the dunk and lost the ball out of bounds. D’Antoni said he tried to challenge both calls but wasn’t allowed to do so.
The Rockets have filed an official protest, arguing a “misapplication of the rules.” If the play should have been reviewable and the officials refused, that reasoning might be valid. But…
2. You can’t just put the points back retroactively.
In its initial reporting after the Spurs rallied to win 135-133 in double-overtime, ESPN said the Rockets were hoping the league simply would award them the victory. According to that line of thinking, Houston should have had two more points in regulation, and therefore the extra time was unnecessary.
But as most everyone realizes, shot selection, defensive strategy and even game-related pressure all change, depending on the score. This idea was a nonstarter from the beginning.
But the alternative is a problem, too, because …
3. If the league mandates that the teams play the final 7:50 over again, the Spurs almost certainly will lose.
Double-digit fourth-quarter comebacks are rare. As for double-digit fourth-quarter comebacks in which a kid becomes the youngest player in NBA history to score 28 points off the bench, and leads one of the worst teams in the conference to a victory over one of the best?
Those are unheard of.
The NBA has to know this. It has to realize that if the Spurs get 50 more chances to replay that final 7:50 starting in a 15-point hole, they’re unlikely to win even once. It has to realize that, if anything, the Rockets will be better prepared for Lonnie Walker IV the next time.
So by granting the Rockets’ protest, the NBA would not just be erasing an officiating error. It would wipe out everything the Spurs did right throughout almost eight minutes of regulation and two overtimes, and it would absolve the Rockets of all the ways they participated in giving the game away.
There are historical examples of the NBA forcing teams to replay part of a game after a protest. But it’s happened only one time in the past 36 years, and in that case the Hawks and Heat replayed only the final 51.9 seconds after the scorer’s table incorrectly ruled Shaquille O’Neal had fouled out.
That was a much simpler fix, and it didn’t require pretending that an hour’s worth of dramatics never happened. And even more importantly …
4. The least humiliating option for the NBA is to deny Houston’s request.
Capers’ explanation after the game might not have been convincing, but it was convoluted enough to turn this into a “he said/they said” argument between D’Antoni and the officials, and the Rockets are unlikely to win that one.
Also, if the two teams have to get together to play the end of the game all over again, that means people will keep talking about how the league messed up. If the NBA denies the protest, everyone outside of Houston will forget about it the next day.
And if the league needs a way to make Harden feel better about the whole fiasco?
He seems like the kind of guy who would appreciate a simple apology.