Milwaukee Bucks (Scott Skiles) 15-18
(Likely) Inactives: Joe Alexander and Dan Gadzuric
Los Angeles Lakers (Phil Jackson) 28-8
(Possible) Inactive: Pau Gasol (Hopefully)
Time: 8:30 (CST)
TV: FS Wisconsin
Brandon Jennings vs. Derek Fisher
Michael Redd vs. Kobe Bryant
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute vs. Ron Artest
Ersan Ilyasova vs. Lamar Odom (or Pau Gasol)
Andrew Bogut vs. Andrew Bynum
Luke Ridnour, Hakim Warrick, Charlie Bell and Kurt Thomas
Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell and Sasha Vujacic
Prediction: Lakers 102 – Bucks 94
To be blunt, the Bucks have no individual match-up advantages. Jennings may be more talented than Fisher, but lacks the experience, defense and consistency that Fisher provides, especially with a rookie coming into L.A. The one place where the Bucks have a glimmer of hope is the bench. IF Gasol doesn’t play due to his on going hamstring issues, Odom is forced into the starting line-up and the Lakers are left relatively thin. Farmar and Brown can provide some fireworks, but the Lakers don’t have anyone with the (recent) consistency of Ridnour or Warrick.
Word is that Gasol won’t play, which is great news for the Bucks, as he exploded for 26 points and 22 rebounds in the Lakers visit to Milwaukee earlier this year. His absence doesn’t make a victory all that much more likely, but it probably gives the Bucks a psychological boost on the heels of a confidence building three game win streak. Alas, the Lakers home court and overall talent surrounding their superstar Bryant is probably still too much for the, not-so-good-on-the-road Milwaukee Bucks.