Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks will be looking to end a two-game losing streak when they visit the OKC Thunder on Sunday. (Photo by JB Autissier/Panoramic/Icon Sportswire)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks take on the OKC Thunder on Sunday night
- Milwaukee is on a two-game losing streak, while Oklahoma City has also failed to secure a victory in their last three contests
- Get our odds, preview, and picks below
The Milwaukee Bucks and OKC Thunder will meet on Sunday, February 14th, tip-off 8 PM EST. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee fell victim to a red-hot Utah Jazz squad on Friday night, losing 129-115 thanks to the dominance of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
As for the Thunder, they put up a gritty performance against the Denver Nuggets, where OKC led for most of the game. In the end, though, their depleted roster caught up with them, losing by two points.
Milwaukee had Oklahoma City’s number last season, winning both contests. Their last meeting resulted in a 44-point victory for Mike Budenholzer’s team.
Bucks vs Thunder Odds
|Milwaukee Bucks||-11 (-110)||-620||N/A|
|OKC Thunder||+11 (-110)||+460||N/A|
Odds taken Feb 13 at Fanduel
Bucks Looking to Break Losing Streak
Milwaukee certainly hasn’t been the electric team they were last season, going just 16-10 so far. Nevertheless, the Bucks are still in second place in the Eastern Conference behind the Philadelphia 76ers.
Giannis and co. are currently on a two-game losing skid after tough matchups against the Phoenix Suns and most recently, the Utah Jazz. Jrue Holiday remains out due to COVID-19, having last played on February 6th. Friday’s defeat to Utah was by no means a bad performance though. They simply just came up against one of the hottest teams in the NBA who have been firing on all cylinders.
Antetokounmpo had a big game dropping 29 points and collecting 15 boards. Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton also stepped up heavily in the absence of Holiday, contributing 23 and 18, respectively. Milwaukee had scored at least 120 points in the six games prior, which set a franchise record.
Jazz big man Rudy Gobert proved to be too much for the Bucks defense as their opponents out-rebounded them 46-33. It was no surprise though, considering both of these teams are first and second in boards per game this season thanks to their length on the glass.
Best of Giannis last night in Utah:
29 PTS | 15 REB | 6 AST | 2 BLK | 2 STL pic.twitter.com/6tMFfbF4KO
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 13, 2021
Offense has been the name of the game for Milwaukee this year though. Led by the Greek Freak who is currently sixth in the league in scoring, Budenholzer’s squad is first in the association with 121.2 points per contest and also first in offensive rating.
The defense needs to tighten up though, even against a rebuilding team like the Thunder who surprisingly took the defending champion LA Lakers to overtime on Monday then lost by just a point two nights later.
Don’t Underestimate OKC
Even though OKC has dropped three consecutive games, all of them were very respectable performances that came down to the wire.
Fans or not, to step into the Staples Center and take it to the Lakers as they did was impressive. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been sidelined for their last two contests due to a knee injury, but the Thunder have still competed.
Oklahoma City led by 19 at one point in the first half against the Nuggets on Friday, but a late surge from Nikola Jokic and co. allowed Denver to get right back in the game. Despite their defensive collapse in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, it was a very promising performance considering Gilgeous-Alexander was absent.
After all, the former Clippers guard is the heartbeat of their rotation. To play this well without him against a quality opponent spoke to the character of the Thunder. They also did a great job of limiting Denver’s second-chance points to just eight by crashing the boards and being physical around the rim.
Although Mark Daigneault’s team is 10-15 and have the worst offensive rating in the league, OKC is still doing better than many thought after basically cleaning house in the offseason.
Oklahoma City’s will to compete over their last few games has been brilliant and I think they’re going to bring that momentum back to Chesapeake Energy Arena. However, the Thunder are just 3-8 on home court this season. Their defensive displays lately against top-tier offenses though would make one think this could be a relatively close game.
Milwaukee is a safe bet for the victory. But OKC has went ATS in their last three games. They’re also 14-10 as the ATS underdog this season. Even with Gilgeous-Alexander most likely out again, the Thunder will give the Bucks a run for their money.
Pick: OKC Thunder ATS +11 (-110)
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.