Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers

Where: Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA

When: Friday, March 1st at 10:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN, Spectrum Sportsnet, Fox Sports Wisconsin | 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES

Milwaukee Bucks (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer {All-Time 259-211 | ATL, MIL}

The Milwaukee Bucks have been as dominant as ever, currently residing at the top of the Eastern Conference and the top of the NBA. With a record of 46-14, the Bucks are ahead of the Toronto Raptors by a mere 2 games. Comfortable, but not enough to sustain any prolonged run of negative results.

The Bucks have been spectacular in their last ten matches. They have accumulated a record of 9-1 in that time, losing to only, and surprisingly, the Orlando Magic in a blowout during that time.

The Milwaukee Bucks take on a struggling Los Angeles Lakers squad. On paper, the Milwaukee Bucks should have a simple time with this match. The Lakers are incredibly weak at the moment. The Bucks certainly don’t have a place to take the Lakers lightly though. Expect a concentrated effort from the Bucks when they attempt to take down LeBron James.

Los Angeles Lakers (Home)

Head Coach: Luke Walton {All-Time 90-134 | LAL}

The Los Angeles Lakers have a very bleak outlook at this point in the season. Once a competitive team in the playoff race, the Los Angeles Lakers are now eleventh in the Western Conference with less chance than their own competitors.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been pathetic in recent games. They lack conviction in their efforts, having gone 3-7 in their last ten matches. Losses to the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Hawks certainly reinforces their quality in the league.

The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot to sort out if they hope to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers’ defense has been horrendous and it all starts with their star and captain LeBron James. There is no effort at the top and it has trickled down to the bottom.

What’s At Stake?

The all-time series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks have been rather one-sided. In 134 games all-time, the Los Angeles Lakers lead the Milwaukee Bucks 81-53.

At the top of the East, a win or loss for the Milwaukee Bucks would keep them ranked first in the Eastern Conference.

The Los Angeles Lakers need every win they can get. One over the Bucks would break the tie with the Timberwolves and place them ninth in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

Are the Bucks built to stay at the top?

Is LeBron’s effort cause for concern?

We are going to compare the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Bucks’ Remaining Schedule is Beneficial

The Milwaukee Bucks have performed against every team so far this season. To say that their remaining schedule is what will propel them into title contention is short-sighted, but nevertheless, key in their goal to reach the NBA Finals.

In their remaining games, the Milwaukee Bucks face teams with an average win-loss percentage of .472. While they have tough games remaining against the Pacers, Sixers, Thunder, and Rockets, the majority of the Bucks’ games are against the leagues weakest squads.

The Milwaukee Bucks can’t take any opponent lightly, regardless of their opponents’ record. If the Bucks have shown any weakness it is when they are run off of the three-point line. If they can take advantage of their schedule while maintaining their discipline as a team, the Bucks may very well be the greatest threat to the Golden State Warriors.

James’ Efforts Have Been Highlighted

LeBron James’ efforts in the Lakers’ most recent run for the playoffs have been highlighted. More accurately, we should say James’ lack of effort has been highlighted in recent games. The results, speak for themselves.

The Lakers have been unable to crack even .500 in their last ten games. In a recent game against the Memphis Grizzlies, LeBron James’ lack of effort on the defensive end was incredibly obvious. Failing to rotate on defense, not getting out to shooters, and not challenging players at the rim were but a few instances of James’ attitude.

Considering James is the leader of the club, it is clear why the team is struggling. His poor attitude as of late has affected the younger players on the squad. If their leader has a half-effort, there is no place for them to be reprimanded for their own effort. If the Lakers want to start winning again, it starts with James.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

F Giannis Antetokounmpo – 26 Feb 2019 – Day To Day (Right Knee Soreness) – Antetokounmpo is listed as probable for Wednesday’s (Feb 27) game.

G Sterling Brown – 26 Feb 2019 – Out (Wrist) – Brown has been ruled OUT for Wednesday’s (Feb 27) game.

G Donte DiVincenzo – 23 Feb 2019 – Out (Bilateral Heel Bursitis) – The Bucks have listed DiVincenzo as OUT for Saturday’s game (Feb. 23) against the Timberwolves.

G George Hill – 26 Feb 2019 – Out (Adductor) – Hill has been ruled OUT for Wednesday’s (Feb 27) game.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

G Lonzo Ball – 22 Feb 2019 – Out (Left Ankle) – Ball is dealing with a bone bruise in his left ankle and there’s a chance he may not return until next month, according to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times.

Head-to-Head: Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) vs LeBron James (LAL)

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Power Forward | 6-11, 242lb (211cm, 109kg) | Filathlitikos/Greece | Exp. 5 Years

27.2 PPG | 6.0 APG | 12.7 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 1.5 BPG | 3.8 TOV | .581 FG% | .243 3P%

LeBron James

Small Forward | 6-8, 250lb (203cm, 113kg) | Saint Vincent-Saint Mary (HS) | Exp. 15 Years

26.8 PPG | 7.8 APG | 8.8 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 3.5 TOV | .510 FG% | .347 3P%

Two of the leagues biggest superstars face off when the Lakers and the Bucks meet. LeBron James needs to lead his Los Angeles Lakers to the same level that Giannis Antetokounmpo is leading his. While the talent differential is great, both are players that can take over a game on their own.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has not only been dominant this season, but he has also been consistent. If there is knock on Antetokounmpo’s game it is that when he indulges himself, the team struggles. When Antetokounmpo is driving and kicking, the team is near-unstoppable. But if the Greek Freak becomes selfish and his teammates can’t produce for him, it’ll be a tough night.

Little can be said about LeBron James that is not already known. When on point, James is absolutely unstoppable. His ability to create plays and shoot the ball is nearly unstoppable when he is in range. On the other hand, much has been made of James’ lack of effort on the defensive end. Once adequate, James has become a liability in the defensive half. Age or effort aside, the Lakers need James’ full commitment if they hope to make a push for the playoffs.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Los Angeles Lakers Predictions and Odds

The oddsmakers have the Milwaukee Bucks favored over the Los Angeles Lakers by 4.5, with an over/under of 110.