Milwaukee Bucks (Scott Skiles) 23-26
Inactives: Michael Redd, Francisco Elson and Joe Alexander
Detroit Pistons (John Kuester) 17-32
Probable Inactives: Dajuan Summers and Chris Wilcox
Time: 7:00 (CST)
TV: FS Wisconsin
Brandon Jennings vs. Rodney Stuckey
It couldn’t have been more than a year ago that Stuckey seemed like the future of “Deeeee-trooooooiiiiit Baaaasssskkkkeeeeettttttballllllll”, right? Now he’s back down to 40 percent shooting with a cast of overpaid role players and aging veterans on the fast track to nowhere. Is Stuckey really good? It’s probably too early to say. He’s had an injury here or there, but he’s playing on a team that’s been beat up and he’s probably been asked to bare too much of the burden for these guys. He’s getting to the rim a lot (six shots a game) and finishing okay (50 percent) but he hasn’t been able to do anything from anywhere else. If Stuckey can get his jumper going from literally anywhere else it’ll make him a much more dangerous player and reinvigorate his career and the Pistons team. Against Jennings though, Stuckey should be able to penetrate more often than not and knock Jennings out of the way if he’s by him at all.
Charlie Bell vs. Richard Hamilton
Hamilton has been fighting through injuries all year and they’ve likely contributed plenty to his career worst 39.7 percent shooting this season. Hamilton’s once reliable 10-15 foot short jumpers haven’t been falling with the same success of recent years and he’s been taking them more than ever. After shooting better than 45 percent in 2007 and 2008 from that range, Rip is down to just 42 percent this year. Could that have something to do with the new staff? I seem to recall the old elbow screen and curl that so often freed Hamilton for wide open jumpers was once a staple of Pistons basketball. If they aren’t still running that, they are crazy. Anyway, Hamilton still gets close to 20 a night and could drive the Bucks crazy with his perpetual motion, though they are less susceptible to that than most teams given their terrific help defense.
Carlos Delfino vs. Tayshaun Prince
Length alert for Delfino. Carlos shouldn’t expect to see many open looks in this game, Prince has those arms that go on forever and a knack for blocking shots it seems like he won’t get to. This may force Delfino a step or two back for some of those deep threes he’s prone to shoot for some reason. If he’s hitting them you won’t be hearing me complain though. I’d like to see Delfino stay aggressive and try and get in the paint against Prince and make some plays for his teammates with his passing.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute vs. Jonas Jerebko
Jerebko is a quiet favorite of many. I’m not entirely sure why. He’s a quietly decent offensive player with a 53.6 true shooting percentage, but he doesn’t do a whole lot else that I can see. I don’t check out many Detroit games, so it’s possible he’s doing lots of “behind the box score” things. He doesn’t seem to grab a lot of rebounds or get a lot of assists, but I guess a lot of the same things can be said about LRMAM and we all swear by him here in the Mil, so I’ll jump off Jerebko’s back.
Andrew Bogut vs. Ben Wallace
Bogut’s long time nemesis Wallace returns to face the new, more consistent version of Bogut. Bogut 2.0 if you will. Can Bogut keep the good times rolling against the historically tough defending Wallace? I don’t see why not. It hasn’t mattered if it’s been a great athlete defending Bogut or crafty veteran or young rookie, he’s been doing equal opportunity work on the rest of the league lately. If Bogut can get buckets against Wallace, consider that one more mental hurdle cleared for him.
Jerry Stackhouse, Luke Ridnour, Ersan Ilyasova, Kurt Thomas and Hakim Warrick
Ben Gordon, Will Bynum, Charlie Villanueva and Jason Maxiell
Your 2010 Detroit Pistons Bench: Now with over $70 million worth of bad contracts. Maybe the Pistons have more talent on their bench, but where exactly has that got them this yer? There doesn’t seem to be a real sense on continuity between any set of players they trot out there, which is the opposite of how you could describe the Bucks of recent weeks. At the very least, Bynum could come in and cause some serious problems for Jennings and/or Ridnour.
Prediction: Bucks 93 – Pistons 88
Milwaukee can get to within a game of .500 if they beat Detroit at home and New Jersey on the road in their final two games before the all-star break. Do you think Scott Skiles’ guys will come out flat with that carrot hanging in front of their collective faces?