The Dallas Mavericks (6-4) will travel to Milwaukee (8-4) on Friday night and seek to extend their win streak to five games.
Early MVP hopeful Luka Doncic and his fully-recovered running mate Kristaps Porzingis will have a big test ahead facing the reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
Despite struggles early in the season, Doncic has returned to his top form, averaging 30.4 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 10 assists over his last five games. Along with Porzingis back, coach Rick Carlisle sees the Mavericks as a revamped team.
“When both of those guys are out there at the same time it’s a game-changer for us,'' he said. "They are two guys who can play on the inside and space the court on the outside.”
READ MORE: Mavs' Porzingis Debut Review: 'Game-Changer'
Dallas will be missing five players who have been sidelined due to Covid-19: Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson, Maxi Kleber, and Dwight Powell. The Mavericks are uncertain when they will return.
“The next 10 days to two weeks are going to be a great challenge for us, but we’ve got a tight group that’s looking forward to it,” Carlisle said.
INJURY UPDATE: Bucks: Torrey Craig: out (nose). Mavericks: Maxi Kleber: out (health protocols), Jalen Brunson: out (health protocols), Dorian Finney-Smith: out (health protocols), Dwight Powell: out (health protocols), Josh Richardson: out (health protocols).
PLAYER TO WATCH: Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo hasn’t missed a beat, averaging 26.2 points and 10.1 rebounds this season.
Carlisle understands the challenge ahead: "The guy is an absolute monster."
ODDS: Bucks favored by 6 points. Over/under is 227 points.
RECORDS: Dallas Mavericks (6-4) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (8-4)
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
TV/RADIO: ESPN, Fox Sports Southwest
READ MORE: 'Luka And KP Are Invested'