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Bucks To Dominate Knicks On Christmas Day

December 15, 2018


Will Giannis dominate on Christmas Day?

The Milwaukee Bucks have made strong start to their 2018/19 season and will have the opportunity to showcase their NBA Playoff credentials in their clash against the New York Knicks on Christmas Day.

Milwaukee were knocked out of the playoffs at the first hurdle for the second term on the bounce. Milwaukee were able to take the Boston Celtics all the way to game seven, but were defeated at the TD Garden.

Former NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer was appointed as their new head coach as interim boss Joe Prunty made way. He has taken the team forward in his short stint and will be eager to continue their run in the second half of the campaign.

Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to enhance his reputation as a potential league MVP every time he steps out on to the court, while he has been supported by the blossoming talent around him. Antetokounmpo will be looking to make the most of the spotlight with a clinic at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks are heading towards another underwhelming campaign. They’re well off the pace for the playoffs and will likely miss out on the post-season for the sixth year in a row. New head coach David Fizdale has not been able to reverse their fortunes after replacing Jeff Hornacek on the sideline.

December has not been a good month for New York, but they will want to give their fans some festive cheer, especially on home soil.

Get the best odds on Christmas day games with our top sportsbooks below:

New York Knicks

The Knicks have been forced to play in the opening months of the campaign without their best player Kristaps Porzingis. He suffered a torn ACL during his side’s clash against the Bucks in February, which has ruled him out of the season to date and could prevent him from competing until 2019. Tim Hardaway Jr has been forced to take on more responsibility in the absence of the forward.

The 26-year-old has led the way, playing almost every game this term, leading the team with 21.4 points per game. He has not been afraid to take on more shots from the field, although it has affected his accuracy, posting the lowest percentage of his career. Hardaway’s production has been solid, and even though he could have performed to a higher standard, he’s not getting a great deal of support.

Enes Kanter has attempted to alleviate the strain and has been solid enough on the court. However, there are limitations to the play of the center and he doesn’t have the quality to become a dominant points’ scorer, averaging 15.1 per game this season. Kanter has been impressive in the defensive third of the court, leading the Knicks in rebounds under his own net. Other than the 26-year-old there have been deficiencies at the back for Fizdale’s men, ranking fifth in the most points allowed this season. Facing the best offense in the NBA will prove a tough task.

New York got the better of the Bucks in one of their earlier match-ups this term. Emmanuel Mudiay played a decisive role, leading the team with 28 points in the overtime triumph. Mudiay has to become a more consistent player for the Knicks. Talent is not the issue for the 22-year-old has he proven that he is more than capable of rising to the occasion, but he has to perform to be a reliable factor for the club in their attempt to salvage their campaign.

Milwaukee Bucks

Antetokounmpo is developing into the leading contender to be named MVP of the 2018/19 season. The 24-year-old has been dominant at both ends of the court, highlighting his value to the team not just as an offensive juggernaut. He averages 25.9 points per game – not the highest figure in the league, but his accuracy from the field has been outstanding, making 58.3% of his attempts. The Greek’s efficiency around the rim has been the contributing factor in the Bucks’ scoring frenzy.

Budenholzer’s men are leading the NBA in points per game, even outscoring the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. Antetokounmpo has been their driving force, but he has also helped keep points off the board at the other end of the court. He ranks in the top five in defensive rebounds, while also being effective in steals and blocks. There might not be a better player in the NBA under the age of 25 at the moment and his all-round excellence has him on the path towards the MVP award.

Milwaukee have built an impressive starting unit around the All-Star. Malcolm Brogdon has taken his game to the next level after a solid opening two seasons in the NBA, matching the efficiency of Antetokounmpo around the net. Khris Middleton has been the other leading scoring option for the Bucks, providing the perfect foil for his team-mate.

Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez have provided the veteran presence in the starting line-up, balancing the team. Budenholzer has found the right chemistry within his side and they have produced impressive performances thus far, including a win over Toronto on the road with a fine all-round display. The Eastern Conference will be competitive to the end of the term and Milwaukee have to maintain their standards.

Betting Options

Expect the Bucks to roll to a comfortable victory over the Knicks in the contest at -500  with BetOnline, while take the over on 227 points at 10/11  with Betway. Antetokounmpo will be operating at the peak of his powers so back him to lead the scoring in the matches on Christmas Day at odds of +160 , and also to have over 25 points and 12 rebounds at +120  with TopBet. The 24-year-old is in prime position to be named MVP, take him in the odds now at +250  with MyBookie to claim the award.

Milwaukee have not won a division title since the 2000/01 season, but are on course to end their drought. The contest will have a bearing on their ability to beat out the Indiana Pacers for the Central Division crown at odds of -360 , while they’re not a bad shout for the long-term odds of winning the Eastern Conference at +450  with Bovada.

Tips Summary

Milwaukee Bucks To Beat New York Knicks
Tuesday 25th December 2018 12:00 ET (17:00 GMT)
Odds: -500

Over 227 Total Points To Be Scored
Tuesday 25th December 2018 12:00 ET (17:00 GMT)
Odds: 10/11

Giannis Antetokounmpo To Lead Christmas Day NBA Scoring
Tuesday 25th December 2018 12:00 ET (17:00 GMT)
Odds: +160

Giannis Antetokounmpo To Score 25 Points and 12 Rebounds Christmas Day
Tuesday 25th December 2018 12:00 ET (17:00 GMT)
Odds: +120

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Kristaps Porzingis
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • New York Knicks

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.