Milwaukee Bucks (Scott Skiles) 36-29
Los Angeles Clippers (Kim Hughes) 25-43
Date: 3/17/2010 (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)
Time: 9:30 (CST)
TV: The Worldwide Leader
Brandon Jennings vs. Baron Davis
Jennings has been saying Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups are the two finest point guards in the league for a week or so now and I give him the benefit of the doubt, because I know he knows Baron Davis and, um, he’s played all these guys. Maybe I’m holding on too fondly to memories, but I’ve long still maintained, when B-Diddy is focused, he’s more than a load. Alas, it seems that either he hasn’t been focused in a couple years or he’s lost a step. If it’s the latter, that’s a bummer for the NBA and obviously a bigger bummer for the Clipper organization. Sometimes guys cruise by on their names and reputations for years (cough Michael Redd cough) but aren’t actually good players anymore. But there’s always that chance with him …
John Salmons vs. Eric Gordon
Gordon is well on his way to being a reliable 20 point scorer and a potential lockdown defender. And he’s only 21. So, if anyone tells you nothing positive has come of this season for the Clippers, you can tell them that Eric Gordon is still there and still producing. He kind of makes me think of Salmons, who’s been pretty good lately. And again, he’s only 21. Sky is the limit for Eric Gordon. Whether or not this is the perfect team for him could be debated though and there’s no debate that Milwaukee has been perfect for Salmons. Taking advantage of players skills is something not every team does as well as the Bucks have lately.
Carlos Delfino vs. Rasual Butler
Butler and Delfino are both relied upon to hit open shots. Delfino has done it with more success this season (37% 3FG to 35% 3FG) and less frequently (Delfino: 286 3PA – Butler: 344 3PA). Plus, Delfino is a better passer, better rebounder and better defender. Any other questions?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute vs. Drew Gooden
Gooden’s an athletic guy with offensive talent. His height, midrange jumper and quickness don’t make him an ideal matchup for LRMAM. If Gooden’s keeping LRMAM off the offensive glass, it could make for a long night for the Prince. His best matchups seem to be slower footed bigs or stretch fours playing out on the perimeter. Gooden falls in the nether that is between.
Andrew Bogut vs. Chris Kaman
Like Bogut, Kaman has difficulties getting to the free throw line very often, taking roughly one free throw for every four shots he attempts. Obviously I don’t get to see much of the Clippers, so I’ll be watching the way Kaman operates on offense. Bogut’s game often has him going away from the hoop or across the hoop rather than at it when he’s shooting, which is why he’s rarely drawing contact from the defender. I can only assume Kaman’s rarely attacking the hoop himself, given that he doesn’t shoot free throws and has hit less than half his shots this year. He shouldn’t be too difficult a matchup for Bogut. A note on Bogut’s shot-blocking from Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN: Andrew Bogut has blocked at least one shot in each of his last 30 games. It’s the longest streak of its kind in the NBA this season and the third-longest in Bucks history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1974 to 1975) and Elmore Smith (1975-76) share the franchise record of 61 consecutive games.
Jerry Stackhouse, Luke Ridnour, Kurt Thomas and Ersan Ilyasova
Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake and DeAndre Jordan
Jordan was supposed to see loads of minutes once the Clippers unloaded Marcus Camby and he was supposed to play well when getting these minutes. It doesn’t look like things have been that simple though. Jordan has good rebound rates and per minute numbers, but in nearly 20 minutes per game this month he hasn’t been very impressive. In roughly three more minutes per game this month, Ilyasova has scored five more points per game and grabbed an extra rebund. The Bucks boast significantly more versatility and talent off their bench.
Prediction: Bucks 107 – Clippers 90
Trips out west are never promising for the Bucks, but perhaps this one will be different. After all, things have been a lot different for the Bucks lately in general; why not let the good times keep rolling out west? The Clippers are an awful defensive team and just as bad offensively. The Bucks should be looking to rebound with a strong game after almost blowing one on Sunday at home against Indiana. All the signs are pointing to a strong effort for the Bucks in a win.