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The Hornets try yet again to beat a good team when they face the Bucks, while Memphis looks to keep things rolling against the Clippers
ANALYSIS

Charlotte Hornets vs Milwaukee Bucks Prediction: Can You Trust the Hornets?

Charlotte Hornets vs Milwaukee Bucks

Hornets vs Bucks Odds

All in all, the Charlotte Hornets have still been one of the more pleasant surprises of this NBA season. Even though things have tailed off after their 13-9 starts, the Hornets still boast a top-three offense and in LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges, clearly have two foundational building blocks moving forward. They also carry a (barely) winning record into this contest.

But they’ve also struggled mightily against the best. Other than a win in their third game of the season against the Nets, they’re 0-5 against the other top-five teams in the East and 1-4 against the Jazz, Warriors, and Suns. A few of those games have been close, including their only game against the Bucks, in which they lost by just two in Milwaukee back in the beginning of December.

That game also confirmed the reality of these Hornets, which is they can’t stop anyone when it counts. The Bucks scored 127 points that night, including 40 for Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s one of 16 times Charlotte has given up at least 120 points this season, which is part of why they have a bottom three defense ahead of only the Blazers and Rockets. The Hornets have won just three of those 16 games.

Now they face the Bucks again, this time coming off one of Milwaukee’s best wins of the season. The defending champs are not 100 percent, missing Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton, plus long-term injury absences Donte DiVincenzo and Brook Lopez. Even so, they have enough to do damage, especially against a Hornets team whose only win against an above-.500 team in the last month came against the 19-18 Nuggets. Even on a back-to-back, the Bucks shouldn’t be giving points here. Go with the road team.

Charlotte Hornets vs Milwaukee Bucks Pick

Memphis Grizzlies vs Los Angeles Clippers

Grizzlies vs Clippers odds

Speaking of confusing lines, we have to spend a minute talking about Grizzlies vs. Clippers.

Memphis, in case you haven’t heard, is the hottest team in the NBA. They’ve won seven in a row and covered six of those. They are dominating bad teams (see: Thursday’s 30-point decimation of the Pistons) as well as defeating good ones, with recent victories over the Suns, Nets and Cavs, all on the road.

The Clippers, to their credit, have weathered the loss of Paul George about as well as could have been expected. They’ve gone 5-7 in the dozen games he’s missed over the last month, including wins in Brooklyn, Boston and at home versus the Suns. But they’ve also struggled mightily at times, with three defeats of 16 or more in the last nine games George has missed, and they’ve gone just 2-7 in that span.

Now, they’re somehow the beneficiary of a spread that predicts this as a one-possession game. It doesn’t make any sense and you should take advantage of others being slow to take the Grizzlies for real. They’ve more than earned it. Give the points on the road.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Los Angeles Clippers Pick

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Article Author

NBA

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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