High-scoring Bucks off to historic start
Winners of three straight games, it appears the Milwaukee Bucks (5-3) have found their winning ways again.
But they never lost their formula to score.
Milwaukee ranks first in the NBA with an average of 125.3 points per game and a 50.5% field-goal percentage. The Bucks are the league’s highest-scoring team by a large margin — Washington is second at 120.8 points per contest, and only three other NBA teams are registering 116+ points per game.
The Bucks have scored 126, 125 and 130 points in their last three outings. On Dec. 29, Milwaukee shattered an NBA record by nailing 29 3-pointers while racking up 144 points against Miami.
But what head coach Mike Budenholzer’s team has done to start the season is historical. Since the 1982-83 season, only four other teams have averaged 125+ points per game while shooting over 50% from the field over the first eight games. The last to do it were the 1990-91 Golden State Warriors, led by Chris Mullin, and Clyde Drexler’s Portland Trail Blazers that same season.
At home, Milwaukee has been fantastic. The Bucks are 4-0 to start the season at Fiserv Forum. Khris Middleton has been a big factor in that success, as he’s logged the best true shooting percentage (65.5%) among any player at home over the last two campaigns.
Milwaukee’s bench, led by Bobby Portis (11.4 PPG), has posted the second-best shooting percentage among NBA reserve units at 49%. Even second-round picks Sam Merrill and Jordan Nwora have been contributors, combining for a 61.1% clip (11 of 18) from downtown.
Back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are due for another offensive explosion against Utah (4-4) on Friday night. In his last seven matchups with the Jazz, Antetokounmpo is averaging 35.7 points per game.
The last time Utah rolled into Fiserv Forum, Antetokounmpo went off for 50 points on 17-of-31 shooting and added 14 rebounds. The Greek Freek also nailed 13 of 19 attempts from the free-throw line.
Good luck, Jazz.
— The Bucks and Jazz are two of seven NBA teams to use the same five starters in all games played thus far.
— Milwaukee ranks second in the NBA with a rebound percentage of 54.2%. Utah isn’t far behind in fourth place at 53.1%.
— Utah’s Donavan Mitchell is one of six players with 5,000+ points and 500+ 3-point makes since his rookie season in 2017-18.
— Expect some rim-rattling jams Friday night. Since 2015-16, no player has more dunks than Utah center Rudy Gobert (1,034). Antetokounmpo ranks second in that span with 993.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar