Milwaukee Bucks (Scott Skiles) 30-29
Vs. (and then At)
Washington Wizards (Flip Saunders) 21-36
Dates: 3/3/2010 & 3/5/2010
Times: 7:00 (CST) & 6:00 (CST)
TV: FS Wisconsin & None
Brandon Jennings vs. Randy Foye
A lot has changed since the last time these teams met. Gone is Gilbert Arenas. You may have heard about him, he had some problems, a gun was involved. In as the starter at the point is Randy Foye, an off-season pickup last June, sure to help turn things around for the Wizards in their quest to crack the top four or at least make the playoffs this year. The best laid plans, right? Foye’s game is more off ball scorer than ball distributor and he’s been forced back into the role he struggled with his first few years in the league. Foye had a lot of success in the Wizards last trip to Milwaukee, particularly when Jennings was in the game defending him. I’d think the Wizards haven’t forgotten this and will allow him to go at Jennings from the get-go in Wednesday’s game.
John Salmons vs. Mike Miller
Why doesn’t Mike Miller shoot more threes? Can anyone explain this phenomenon? Miller attempted seven threes a game three seasons ago and now finds himself shooting just 6.8 TOTAL shots each night. Miller is hitting on 55% of his threes this year! Why isn’t he shooting more!? Washington Wizards Blog TruthAboutIt.net makes some sense of Miller’s reluctance to shoot for me: Miller is a main guy on this squad. But it seems like he has an issue with being a main guy. That is a problem. Yes, that is a problem – if you’re a Wizards fan. As a Bucks fan, I’m delighted and hope Miller continues to avoid shooting for at least two more games.
Carlos Delfino vs. Al Thornton
What’s up with the N after the R in Thornton? Is that just to make difficult the lives of those who must write about members of the Thornton family? Regardless, ThorNton, recently acquired from the Clippers has scored in double figures in each of his six games as a Wizard and is shooting over 50%. Given that his role has always been that of a scorer, these are positive developments in the career of Al ThorNton. Delfino keeps playing his role for the Bucks, becoming increasingly reliable at grabbing a few steals, five rebounds or so and hitting at least one three a game. He’s hit one in his last 12 contests, even if his three-point percentage has dipped a bit since January.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute vs. Andray Blatche
Blatche has BLOWN UP since the Washington Fire Sale. Since February 17th, when 30 minutes on the basketball court became a staple in the life of Blatche, he’s averaged 26.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Blatche has been everything the Wizards hoped he’d be when the drafted him in the second round five years ago as an athlete brimming with potential but carrying the immense burden of being immature. Blatche has reportedly matured quite a bit in the short time since the veterans have been shipped out of D.C. and if he’s got a good head on his broad shoulders, the sky remains the limit for Blatche. His athleticism will make him a very tough matchup for the Bucks at the power forward spot.
Andrew Bogut vs. Javale McGee
McGee is to Bogut as a straw is to a tire gauge. That is to say, McGee cannot physically stand up to the much larger and stronger Bogut down low. McGee does have a significant advantage in the speed and jumping categories, but Bogut has become wise with how to use his size and should have little problem nullifying those edges. This is a game where Bogut could do serious work.
Jerry Stackhouse, Luke Ridnour, Kurt Thomas and Ersan Ilyasova
Earl Boykins, Nick Young, Quinton Ross and Fabricio Oberto
Nick Young never stops shooting! Young appears to be playing a never ending game of pop-a-shot basketball, only on a much larger court and with consequences worse than mockery by friends. Young’s playing time has dwindled in recent weeks and he’s in danger of falling out of the rotation completely. Ross, the defensive specialist acquired from Dallas, has been fairly non-existent on offense as usual but could see some time if a Buck perimeter player gets hot. Boykins beat the Bucks back in December with a fake that got him to the line against Brandon Jennings at the end of the game. He’s still a good scorer and probably the best point guard the Wizards have. With a few days off since their loss on Sunday in which the bench saw plenty of minutes, the Bucks veteran bench has had some time to rest up and get fresh.
Prediction: Bucks 106 – Wizards 94
Barring an atypical effort from the Wizards perimeter players, they just don’t seem to have enough to compete with the Bucks. That would have seemed ludicrous at the start of the season when the Wizards were big on talent, but not on chemistry. The Bucks have often used chemistry to sneak by teams, primarily in the start of the season, but as teams have sold and the Bucks have bought, more and more we’re seeing the Bucks appear to be the more talented team. Fortunately, the Bucks have added talent while keeping their chemistry intact. That explains the Bucks recent surge to a T.