The Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks will both be gunning for a victory on 3/1/2017 at 8:05 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Denver Nuggets vs Milwaukee Bucks
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
|511||Denver Nuggets||-3.5 (-110)||226.5 (-110)||145
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PREDICTION: Bucks 104, Nuggets 99
Oddsmakers currently have the MILWAUKEE listed as -3.5 point favorites versus the DENVER, while the game’s total is sitting at 226.5.
The Milwaukee Bucks got a small dose of good news Tuesday when they learned Michael Beasley suffered only a hyperextended left knee, but will still be without the veteran forward Wednesday night when they host the Denver Nuggets at the Bradley Center.
It was a sigh of relief for a team that lost Jabari Parker, its second-leading scorer, earlier this month to a torn ACL and had been holding its breath since Beasley’s knee took an awkward bend Monday night in Cleveland.
Beasley had appeared in 50 games for Milwaukee this season, averaging 9.7 points on 54.4 percent shooting in 17.1 minutes per game. His role increased in the absence of Parker, who was lost for the season on Feb. 9, and over his last four games, was averaging 19 points on 71 percent shooting while playing 27.1 minutes.
“He has been asked to come off the bench, asked to start, and he doesn’t complain,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He plays every night and puts us in a position to win.”
Milwaukee’s leading shooter at 54.2 percent per game, Beasley is expected to miss at least the next three games.
“He was going,” Kidd said. “When you talk about Jabari being out, Beasley has taken full advantage of that opportunity.”
With Parker and now Beasley out, Mirza Teletovic could see his playing time increase. Acquired last winter to be a sharpshooting offensive threat, the fourth-year product of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been something of a disappointment, averaging 6.7 points while shooting 37.8 percent — including a 34.7 mark from long distance — in 48 games.
Like Milwaukee, which sits just 1 1/2 games out of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, Denver comes into the game trying to lock down a postseason berth. The Nuggets hold the eighth spot in the West, two games ahead of Sacramento but trail seventh-place Oklahoma City by eight games.
They come into Milwaukee riding high after a 125-107 rout of the Bulls in Chicago. Nikola Jokic scored 19 points with 16 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the contest. He had been slumping since the All-Star break, averaging just 5.3 points in three games. but has 29 with 27 rebounds and 16 assists in his last two contests.
“That’s (what) the Nikola Jokic fans back in Denver have been waiting to see,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said.
His offensive outburst helped Denver, the league’s fourth-highest scoring team, top 120 points for the 11th time in its last 23 games but defense was just as big a factor.
The Nuggets held Chicago to 45 percent shooting and a 10-for-26 mark from beyond the arc. They clamped down on All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, who went 3-for-13 and 0-for-2 from distance.
“When we defend like that, we’re a very good team,” Malone said.
Also like the Bucks, the Nuggets will be playing short-handed, too. Forward Kenneth Faried has been dealing with back spasms and did not join the team on its short, two-game swing through the Midwest.
He’s missed two straight games and is expected to sit out at least another week.
“The back is a funny thing, and he’s had back issues in the past,” Malone said.
The Nuggets have won 11 of their last 13 meetings with the Bucks, including a 121-117 decision Feb. 3 in Denver. Jokic recorded his first career triple-double in that contest, while Parker led Milwaukee with 27 points and 11 rebounds.