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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks @ Dallas Mavericks preview

There are 10 games on a busy night in the NBA on Friday and the final match sees two of the league's superstars face off as Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks take on Luka Doncic's Mavericks in Dallas.

The Bucks are enjoying another impressive campaign as they head to Dallas with the second-best record in the league with 18-6, behind only Boston Celtics.

Dallas have come through a rough patch and last season’s beaten Western Conference finalists are back in the postseason places with a 13-11 overall record.

Doncic and Antetokounmpo are among the MVP frontrunners and they can be backed at +250 and +300 respectively to win the regular season individual honor, and both will be looking to put in big performances in a high-profile game on Friday between two teams who could potentially meet in the Finals Series at the end of the season.

What: Milwaukee Bucks @ Dallas Mavericks

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas

When: 22:00 Eastern Time, Friday 9th December

How to watch: ESPN, NBA League Pass

Odds: Milwaukee Bucks -115 Money Line, Dallas Mavericks -105

Home comforts for Mavs

Dallas started the season with high expectations after reaching the conference finals last term but they have had an indifferent start.

However, their home form has remained strong and the Mavs have a 10-3 record at the American Airlines Center - and they are 3-0 against teams from the Eastern Conference in Dallas.

However, the Bucks have hit their stride on their travels after a 3-3 start on the road and they have won their last three trips and all the signs in terms of form suggest this could be a competitive affair.

That is reflected in the Point Spread and Milwaukee are priced at -110 with a modest -1 handicap, while Dallas [+1] are -110.

Doncic remains the key man for Dallas

Doncic is currently the leading scorer in the NBA and is averaging a career-high 32.9 points-per-game, as well as 8.7 assists and 8.6 rebounds.

The problem for Dallas is they are far too reliant on Doncic and if the Slovenian does have an off night they tend to struggle.

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There are also occasions where the rest of the team struggle despite a stellar display from Doncic - such as the overtime loss to an average Detroit Pistons side earlier this month, where 35 points and 10 assists from the 23-year-old wasn’t enough to claim the win.

If the Mavs are to make the step up from outside contender to genuine challenger in the fight for championships they need to recruit further, but with Doncic playing at an MVP level they remain a threat for even the best teams.

Giannis has a stronger supporting cast

Antetokounmpo is already a two-time MVP and he may well pick up a third award if he continues to perform at his current levels. The Greek forward is second in the NBA scoring charts, averaging 32.1 points-per-game, and he is also averaging 11.1 rebounds-per-game and 5.6 assists.

It has been suggested the Bucks are too reliant on their own star man, but in Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday they have a strong supporting cast and are a far more balanced side than their opponents on Friday.

The match-up between Antetokounmpo and Doncic will go a long way to deciding this game but the latter could win that battle and still end up on the losing team, whereas the Bucks talisman knows if he outscores and outrebounds Doncic that will be enough to guide his team to victory.

No major injury concerns for Bucks or Mavs

Both teams have close to fully-fit teams going into Friday’s game as veteran forward Joe Ingles is Milwaukee’s only absentee as he continues to recover from a knee injury. Ingles is still waiting to make his Bucks debut after joining from Utah Jazz, and he is expected to be available either later this month or in January.

Dallas’ only injury concern is guard McKinley Wright, who has played just five minutes this season, so both teams are essentially at full strength for Friday’s encounter.

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