Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers Pick & Prediction MARCH 4th 2024

Heading into last month’s All-Star break, the Milwaukee Bucks were lost.

They had dropped seven of 10 games under recently hired coach Doc Rivers, who was already questioning his new team’s mental toughness.

“We had some guys here, we had some guys in Cabo,” Rivers said after a loss to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 15.

Nearly three weeks later, and the Bucks have strung together five straight wins heading into Monday’s meeting with the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.

Keying Milwaukee’s surge has been star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 31.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game since the All-Star break.

Most recently, Antetokounmpo tallied 46 points, 16 boards and six assists in Friday’s 113-97 win against the Chicago Bulls while passing Sidney Moncrief as the all-time winningest player in franchise history with 489 victories.

“It’s fun. It’s something that I can tell my kids,” Antetokounmpo said. “I have been blessed with incredible teammates and an incredible coaching staff that allow me to do what I do. … Right now, we’re trusting each other. We’re rolling, we’re feeling good.”

With 21 games left in the regular season for the Bucks, each outing will be imperative for their playoff seeding. Currently, they sit a half-game ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed.

Antetokounmpo leads Milwaukee in scoring (30.8 points per game) and rebounds (11.3 per game), while Damian Lillard paces the team with 6.8 assists per contest.

Standing in the way of a sixth straight win are the Clippers, who look to extend a winning streak of their own.

Los Angeles won its second game in as many tries on Sunday, when it topped the Minnesota Timberwolves in a defensive slugfest, 89-88. Despite a season low in points and field-goal percentage (37.6), the Clippers overcame an early 16-point deficit en route to the one-point win.

“We got some good shots, we just couldn’t make them,” Los Angeles coach Tyronn Lue said. “That’s part of the game, but I loved the way we stayed resilient, I loved the way we kept playing defense. We kept competing and guarding. No transition points (Sunday), which was good.”

The Clippers’ leading scorer on the season, Kawhi Leonard (24.2 ppg), was an offensive bright spot on Sunday, pouring in a game-high 32 points. Norman Powell was a spark plug off the bench for Los Angeles, adding 24 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.

“Our bench came in and gave us great energy,” Lue said. “I thought Norman came in and made some huge shots to get us going offensively. (Kawhi) was really good. I thought defensively he did some good things. And then offensively, getting to his spots. He did miss some shots he normally makes, but he’s been great for us all year.”

Like Milwaukee in the East, the Clippers are jockeying for position in the jam-packed Western Conference. Entering Monday fourth in the standings, Los Angeles sits just two games behind both Minnesota and the Denver Nuggets, while the Oklahoma City Thunder are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Clippers for the top spot.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping