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3 things to watch as the Dallas Mavericks host the Milwaukee Bucks

Luka versus Giannis is always a good show

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks (13-11) play host to the Milwaukee Bucks (18-6) in a primetime match up Friday night on ESPN. These two teams last played November 27th, and the Bucks prevailed 124-115 in a game that Milwaukee led for nearly the entire contest. Both teams are currently riding three game win streaks and with no player of immediate consequence presenting on the injury report, everyone should be in for a great game.

Here’s some things to think about and watch for, prior to the game.

Running the Bucks off the three point line

After the first contest, I repeatedly joked the Mavericks might make a trade for Grayson Allen, who shot the lights out hitting 7 of 8 three point attempts. The Bucks starting group was responsible for 13 of the team’s 17 makes from distance during that win and the Mavericks will want to find a means of not giving up so many quality looks.

Of course, that’s not easy, which is one reason why Milwaukee has the second best record in the NBA.

Slowing Middleton and Holiday

In a related point, the Mavericks will have their hands full on the defensive end now that Khris Middleton has returned from injury. Perhaps the most underrated player in the NBA at the moment, Middleton is the piece which takes a good Milwaukee offense from good to great, though he’ll be playing just his fourth game back.

If we understand that former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will put up numbers almost regardless of what Dallas tries, then they’re going to need to find a way to put the clamps on one of or both Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Against the Kings on Wednesday, the two combined for 45 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists, which is a whole lot of offense from a pair of secondary stars.

The hot shooting of the Dallas Mavericks

The somewhat uncomfortable fact about the Mavericks is that past Luka Doncic’s play, the only real factor which matters right now is whether or not the team is hitting shots. Tim Hardaway becoming a flame thrower has certainly aided the cause and during this three game win streak, Dallas is +75 from behind the arc compared to their opponents. That’s settles out to over eight more made threes a game than their opponents.

That the Bucks play a conservative drop scheme is one reason that the shooting could continue and perhaps we might see the Mavericks continue to make team history.

How to Watch

The game is listed to start at 9:00 pm CST on ESPN, but we all know at the American Airline Center, they really tip about 15 minutes later, so expect that. JJ Redick is on the call for ESPN, so it could be a fun game to watch.

Dallas Mavericks will tip off against the Milwaukee Bucks at 9:00 pm CST. All nationally televised NBA games can be watched on Sling TV.