Denver Nuggets (36-17, third in the Western Conference) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (34-19, third in the Eastern Conference)
Milwaukee; Monday, 8 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Denver travels to Milwaukee for a non-conference matchup.
The Bucks have gone 22-6 at home. Milwaukee ranks sixth in the Eastern Conference in rebounding with 44.0 rebounds. Giannis Antetokounmpo paces the Bucks with 11.2 boards.
The Nuggets are 15-13 in road games. Denver has a 14-7 record in games decided by 10 points or more.
The 122.9 points per game the Bucks score are 11.9 more points than the Nuggets allow (111.0). The Nuggets are shooting 49.3% from the field, 1.9% higher than the 47.4% the Bucks’ opponents have shot this season.
The teams square off for the second time this season. The Nuggets won 113-107 in the last meeting on Jan. 30. Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 35 points, and Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 29 points.
TOP PERFORMERS: Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists for the Bucks. Damian Lillard is averaging 18.7 points over the last 10 games for Milwaukee.
Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds for the Nuggets. Nikola Jokic is averaging 25.8 points over the last 10 games for Denver.
LAST 10 GAMES: Bucks: 4-6, averaging 115.8 points, 42.1 rebounds, 27.1 assists, 8.2 steals and 3.6 blocks per game while shooting 47.8% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 114.4 points per game.
Nuggets: 7-3, averaging 108.7 points, 44.5 rebounds, 26.5 assists, 5.9 steals and 6.1 blocks per game while shooting 46.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 110.4 points.
INJURIES: Bucks: Khris Middleton: day to day (ankle).
Nuggets: Vlatko Cancar: out (knee), Michael Porter Jr.: day to day (knee), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: day to day (hamstring).
The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by
Mike Vogel’s structural engineering team at Graef designed the Baird Center to be strong enough to carry the weight of a boat show, and stiff enough to avoid vibrations causing a “Jurassic Park” ripple effect in wine glasses if a crowd jumps in unison to a live band’s hit song.
Those are just some of the standards used to engineer the addition onto the downtown Milwaukee convention center. Some of the structural challenges are even more stringent than the demands on a typical arena, for example.
Vogel is a principal and senior structural engineer for Graef, the Milwaukee-based consultant that handled that work for the $456 million Baird Center expansion that is set for a mid-May grand opening.
“It’s really fun to be a part of helping solve society’s challenges, whether it is a large vertical construction project or designing a robot or machine to help us,” Vogel said.
The addition is designed to feature big, open spaces for its two major convention halls, and Vogel’s team tested to make sure the structure could handle the weight of those events.
“This is long-span that has to take expo center loads, which are gigantic,” Vogel said. “You can imagine a boat show, or a hot tub show with a bunch of tubs filled with water.”
That means the floors of the convention hall are built to handle more weight than, for example, the roof of a typical sports arena. General building code standards require the roof of an arena to handle the weight of its own materials – called “dead weight” – but also up to about 30 pounds per square foot of snow buildup on top. The convention center’s exhibit spaces, by contrast, must handle up to 350 pounds per square foot in addition to their own dead weight, Vogel said.
“That gives them the maximum flexibility to attract events the community can appreciate,” he said.
It’s a whole different challenge to stop those stout floors from vibrating as people walk around or dance, or as bands play music with heavy bass.
That was another factor to consider, since the Baird Center’s second-floor ballroom is directly above its exhibition hall.
“You don’t want to excite that floor so that the lights below start moving,” he said.
Stopping that vibration is a separate challenge in addition to designing a structure to support weight without collapsing, Vogel said. Wisconsin Center District officials wanted the ability to have dinner and dancing in close proximity without glasses vibrating on tabletops, he said.
“Low bass starts to resonate with structure and can excite a structure so it can start to want to move harmonically,” Vogel said. “There’s different criteria if you have a concert and you have a bunch of people doing ‘Jump Around’ and all bouncing in unison. That will also excite a structure. That is very different than somebody walking on the floor.”
The depth of the structure contributes to its stiffness, and also more structural mass will dampen vibrations, for example.
Vogel ran through some of the stats on the materials that comprise the Baird Center’s structure.
It has 6,000 tons of structural steel, or about the equivalent to 12 fully loaded Boeing 747 airplanes. That includes more than 569,069 separate pieces of structural steel, held together by 169,152 structural bolts.
Think of those as the pieces of a Lego set or an Ikea table that haven’t been assembled. Graef designed the structure and created the instructions telling builders how to put them together. Bringing that work in house was among Vogel’s initiatives at Graef that can cut weeks off a project schedule. During the original convention center’s construction, paper design drawings were sent to an outside firm that drew up the assembly instructions.
Builders on the Baird Center expansion used those instructions to tell steel suppliers which parts to ship to the site and when they’d be needed.
“It comes out to about four truckloads, twice a week,” Vogel said. “They get four truckloads of steel. They erect that. They get another four truckloads. They continue until they are done.”
The Bucks star admitted that he is hungry to bring another championship to Milwaukee after doing so in 2021.
It has been a rather topsy-turvy season for the Milwaukee Bucks. They may have a 35-21 record at present, which is good for third in the Eastern Conference, but there seems to be some sort of malaise that’s been plaguing the franchise for the duration of the 2023-24 season. But for Giannis Antetokounmpo, it’s put up or shut up time despite the uncomfortable noise surrounding the team, especially as of late.
Speaking with Malika Andrews of ESPN, the Bucks star expressed his thoughts on what it would mean for him to win another title for the franchise after his triumph in 2021 and how he intends to lead his team back to those incredible heights.
“Will I be happy to win another one for Milwaukee? Damn yeah. To be able to win two the right way? Man yeah… Enough with the talk… I need to get better,” Antetokounmpo said, via ClutchPoints Twitter (X).
Nonetheless, it’s not going to be easy for the Bucks, especially with all the off-court concerns they’re facing. Head coach Doc Rivers is already throwing the franchise under the bus, Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo haven’t quite meshed as envisioned, and the roster isn’t as deep as it once was.
Still, one would think that Antetokounmpo’s legacy is already secure. He has brought a championship to the Bucks, which was only their second in franchise history, and he did so as the team’s bus driver (so to speak), cementing himself as the best player on a title-winning team. But the Greek Freak admits that he still feels pressure, both internal and external, for him to win another ring.
“What do you mean there’s no pressure? […] What if I told you there was more pressure? Now I have to, my mind, my body, I want that feeling again. I want to do it again. People expect me to do it. I expect this from me,” Antetokounmpo added.
It’s not quite clear if the Bucks can put together the pieces necessary for them to win a championship in 2024. The franchise has been through so much change and transition. But Giannis Antetokounmpo’s presence guarantees that the Bucks will have a fighting chance.
Friday’s game features the Youngstown State Penguins (19-9, 11-6 Horizon League) and the Milwaukee Panthers (14-13, 9-7 Horizon League) clashing at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in what is expected to be a close matchup, with a projected 78-77 win for Youngstown State according to our computer prediction. Tipoff is at 8:00 PM ET ET on February 23.
There is no line set for the matchup.
Watch live college basketball games from all over the country, plus ESPN originals and more NCAA hoops content on ESPN+!
Sportsbook Promo Codes
Milwaukee vs. Youngstown State Game Info & Odds
Date: Friday, February 23, 2024
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Live Stream: Watch this game on ESPN+
Where: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Venue: UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Place your bets on any college basketball matchup at BetMGM, and sign up with our link for a first-time deposit bonus!
Milwaukee vs. Youngstown State Score Prediction
Youngstown State 78, Milwaukee 77
Spread & Total Prediction for Milwaukee vs. Youngstown State
Computer Predicted Spread: Youngstown State (-1.1)
Computer Predicted Total: 154.5
Milwaukee has gone 11-14-0 against the spread, while Youngstown State’s ATS record this season is 14-10-0. A total of 17 out of the Panthers’ games this season have hit the over, and 14 of the Penguins’ games have gone over. Over the past 10 games, Milwaukee has a 4-6 record against the spread while going 5-5 overall. Youngstown State has gone 6-4 against the spread and 6-4 overall in its last 10 matches.
Bet on this or any college basketball matchup at BetMGM
Other Horizon League Predictions
Milwaukee Performance Insights
The Panthers score 78 points per game (74th in college basketball) and give up 78.6 (336th in college basketball) for a -16 scoring differential overall.
Milwaukee wins the rebound battle by 1.8 boards on average. It collects 38.7 rebounds per game, which ranks 51st in college basketball, while its opponents pull down 36.9 per outing.
Milwaukee makes 8.4 three-pointers per game (85th in college basketball) compared to its opponents’ 8.3. It shoots 32.7% from deep while its opponents hit 35.3% from long range.
The Panthers’ 94.2 points per 100 possessions on offense rank 197th in college basketball, and the 94.9 points they allow per 100 possessions rank 256th in college basketball.
Milwaukee forces 11.4 turnovers per game (181st in college basketball) while committing 12.4 (283rd in college basketball play).
Rep your team with officially licensed college basketball gear! Head to Fanatics to find jerseys, shirts, and much more.
Not all offers available in all states, please visit BetMGM for the latest promotions for your area. Must be 21+ to gamble, please wager responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, contact 1-800-GAMBLER.