It’s been a chaotic week for the Los Angeles Clippers. Just six days ago they were in contention for the top seed in the Western Conference, but three consecutive losses -- two of which came against Phoenix and Denver -- have the Clippers sitting in the fourth seed with a potential first-round series with the Lakers on the horizon.
Los Angeles is only a game behind Denver in the loss column, but the slide for the Clippers just speaks to the chaos that is about unfold in the last two weeks of the regular season. The Lakers are whole again, but only a game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the first play-in seed. Dallas is not secure inside the top six either, and don’t even get me started on the chaos that is the Eastern Conference.
Buckle up folks, we have officially reached what some call the home stretch.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
Updated injury reports for every game can be found here.
*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back.
The Main Event
Brooklyn Nets at Milwaukee Bucks (-3, 240.5)
A potential Eastern Conference Finals preview tips-off the Sunday slate, and almost all of the stars should be available to play outside of James Harden. Giannis Antetokounmpo is probable to make his returning after missing two games with a sprained ankle, and Kevin Durant will be on the floor after taking the Nets’ loss to Portland off on Friday. Antetokounmpo is going to be key for Milwaukee against this Brooklyn offense, because what we have seen from them without him on the floor is not pretty.
On Thursday, after the Greek Freak was lost 46 seconds into the Bucks’ game with the Rockets, their defense fell apart. Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood combined for 81 points on 26-of-46 shooting, and the Rockets beat the Bucks 143-136 by averaging 1.303 points per possession. When Giannis is off the floor this season, Milwaukee gives up 116.2 points every 100 possessions defensively, so it is clear they need him to be healthy for this defense to have a shot against Brooklyn. Even at full strength though, this Bucks team has some issues that the Nets can exploit.