As the NBA regular season draws to a close, we still have a couple big matchups to get to before the playoff brackets can be compiled. Among these is tonight’s battle in Milwaukee whcih sees West-topping Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Bucks. As Giannis Antetokounmpo seems probable to return to the starting lineup of the Bucks after a few weeks out through injury, Milwaukee will try to solidify their second-place in the East, as Boston are now unreachable. On the flip side, OKC need to keep winning, as they are seriously under pressure from the Denver Nuggets for bragging rights of West Conference winners, and therefore home-court advantage for the entire Playoffs, minus potanetial Finals.

This game will also be a massive opportunity for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to solidify his case for MVP this season, which would also be heightened if the Thunder topped the Western Conference. With Giannis’s absence, Damian Lillard has balled out since the All-Star break: if he can keep this form up into the Playoffs, the Bucks will certianly challenge Boston for a place in the Finals, with the added necessity of Giannis staying healthy. It will be interesting to see how Chat Holmgren copes with Giannis’s physiscality, although we’ll need to see how many minutes the Greek Freak will be able to play considering his recent injury struggles. And the main event will certiainly be the duel between Shai and Lillard, two of the league’s premier point-guards, who we predict will both score at least 25 points tonight.

While the Thunder have looked easily the more consistent of the two teams this season, we give the Bucks the edge in this one: Milwaukee barely lost away at Boston a couple days ago without Giannis, and his return is sure to add depth and solutions to an already talented lineup. A Milwaukee win at 1.76 is pretty good value if you ask me. Another arguably balanced play is Giannis to have under 29.5 points (1.84): while Antentokounmpo has the physical advantge over OKC’s Chet Holmgren Jalen Williams – both young players – he will likely be on a minutes restriction due to his injury, and I believe it will be Lillard who carries the team to victory tonight.

OKC Thunder to Win – 2.10

Milwaukee Bucks to Win – 1.76

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