Game 74 Preview: Bucks at Cavs

Milwaukee Bucks (Scott Skiles) 41-32


Cleveland Cavaliers (Mike Brown) 58-16

Date: March 31st, 2010

Time: 6:00 PM (CST)

TV: FS Wisconsin


Point Guard

Brandon Jennings vs. Mo Williams

Williams struggled mightily in the Cavs trip to Milwaukee in early March, scoring just seven points while shooting 3-17 from the field.  Even worse, he was dealing with a hot shooting and especially lippy version of Brandon Jennings.  Jennings, sporting a red Mohawk that had Lebron James calling him “The Rooster” torched the Cavs for 25 points and many more than 25 words for the Cavs typically chipper bench.  There was no dancing from Cleveland on that dark day in Milwaukee.  But Williams and the Cavs will surely be looking for some redemption, largely at Jennings expense Wednesday night.  Whether or not Jennings will be ready to back up the chatter from his last performance will be an interesting subplot.

Advantage: Cavaliers

Shooting Guard

John Salmons vs. Anthony Parker

Anthony Parker is a reliable shooter and he’s got some size for a two guard.  Aside from that, there appears to be some question about whether or not the Cavs are better off with him getting minutes or the duo of Boobie Gibson and Jamario Moon.  Moon is crazy athletic and Gibson’s hitting nearly 43% of his threes, so they both offer something.  Parker kind of offers less of each of what they best offer, but more of the other things they don’t so much offer.  It’s a conundrum.  Moon might see a lot of time trying to keep Salmons from getting in the paint and to the basket, where he’s been at his best for Milwaukee this year.

Advantage: Bucks

Small Forward

Carlos Delfino (hopefully) vs. Lebron James

James was said to be especially displeased with Jennings display.  Watch out.

Advantage: Cavs

Power Forward

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute vs. Antawn Jamison

Jamison lit up Milwaukee last game, hitting shots from all over to the tune of 30 points.  I doubt he’ll replicate this performance, but he bears watching nonetheless.  Jamison has been a surprisingly good three-point shooter for the Cavs, hitting 42.9% in the month of March, but equally as surprisingly bad at the free-throw line, hitting only 39% of his freebies in the month.  LRMAM has been struggling lately, but his minutes being down probably has as much to do with an uptick in Ersan Ilyasova’s production this month as it has to do with his own shaky play.  Jamison is a good size matchup for LRMAM though.  But believe that LRMAM will see his share of minutes on Lebron Wednesday.

Advantage: Cavs


Andrew Bogut vs. J.J. Hickson

Hickson’s seen some time at center with Shaquille O’Neal out of the lineup and could see some time against Bogut, but I don’t think he really wants it with Bogut down low.  Anderson Varejao is questionable for Wednesday’s game and without him Cleveland is left with only Illgauskas and Hickson to stop Bogut.  Hickson is simply too little and Big Z is simply too slow.  Bogut should have an advantage all night, if Varejao doesn’t go.

Advantage: Bucks


Jerry Stackhouse, Ersan Ilyasova, Luke Ridnour, Charlie Bell and Kurt Thomas


Delonte West, Leon Powe, Zydrunas Illgauskas and Jamario Moon

The Cavs have a deep bench, boasting a little size, some three point shooting and athleticism.  Plus Delonte West destroys the Bucks.  Rarely is the Bucks bench so outmanned like they will be against Cleveland Wednesday night.  And it’s the second game of a back-to-back on the road.  Sigh.  Fortunately, the Bucks got another great game out of Ilyasova against the Clippers and had a rebound game from Stackhouse.  The Bucks will need all hands on deck against the Cavs.

Advantage: Cleveland

Prediction: Cavaliers 98 – Bucks 90

Cleveland is either the best or second best team in the East.  The Bucks are somewhere between third and sixth best.  Unfortunately, the divide between the top two teams and the rest of the East is Grand Canyon sized.  Pulling this one out, against a Cavs team that may not be too pleased with the Bucks (Jennings specifically) may be too much to hope for.

Categories: Game Previews

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  1. Is it weird that I’ve sort of come to expect the Bucks to play BETTER against good teams? I dunno, I feel like Cleveland might coast on this game, but then again LeBron is just looking for another chance to do his little “I’m the best and I know it” dance with Jennings in the building.

    • I’d say most teams get up for the better teams, and the Bucks are no different. They certainly have had their worst games against inferior opponents. The Pistons, Sixers, Clippers and Pacers come to mind. Fortunately, they usually take care of business against these teams anyway and beat those around them in the standings to boot.

  2. Also remember had the 9 other teams not been some dumb & misguided by his stats overseas. He went against the grain & most had a negative perception from him. He drives a Ford Edge as 20 yr old millionaire. That should tell a lot about his upbringing & values.

    What I think you guys namely Jeremy & company don’t factor in. Let’s say he was picked up by the Knicks or Grizzlies. What other guard or player could have lead you guys to where u stand. Going into to the draft who was the player of choice. It’s funny that everyone is made out to look like super player,coach,GM. While he gets the least accolades. Yet you critique his every mishap. I even heard Skiles highlight one of his weaknesses. Rather than speaking on a strength. I’m guessing you & Skiles R.O.Y. vote is for either Stephen Curry or Evans. Coach of the year has to be Skiles. Most Improved could be Bogut. Exec or GM of the year Hammond(Credit John Salmons for being a consumate pro & having the illy philly game). My opinions. Am i wrong again. LOL.

    For the Bucks to win a playoff series & be taken serious. You want the team clicking on all cylinders. Jennings already proved he has a thing for dramatics. Let him play without having to worrying about being subbed for instictive moves. Being robotic is never a good thing. Balance the beginning of the year with games of maturity & Skiles type of PG. You’ll have a great player. You should find out & push to see his ceiling. He has talented a PG as the All Star guards in the league. If he plays well the Bucks are scary. He’s a double double guy with points & assists easily with the right added talent. Come on Deer. Let’s take down whoever we face in the 1st round. We could do it. Just dont panic & stick with the rook. You almost forget he’s a rookie with his poise. Just a reminder he’s better than Chalmers,Duhon,Rodriguez,T.J Ford,Felton,Farmar,M.Bibby, & 80 percent of the starting guards in this league.

    • I agree this time. I think Skiles has been pulling Jennings a little to much lately. Although I would vote Skiles COY and Hammond EOY. The biggest thing Jennings lacks is size, which Ridnour doesn’t have either. Jennings would get my ROY vote cuz I’m a fan, but the question ESPN posed was would the Bucks be in the same place with Stephen Curry? Tyreke Evans?

      • I’ll point out here that Skiles technical in last night’s game was picked up after he berated the officials for not calling a foul on a Jennings fast break layup. It was very clear that Skiles was trying to defend his guy in this situation and that was his purpose in picking up the technical.

        I’m not sure I see the same “everyone’s pointing out Jennings’ mishaps” that you guys are. I think he gets a pretty fair amount of credit, along with Bogut and Salmons, for the Bucks surge.

  3. I think the Bucks can definitely take this one. Their energy and focus for tonight’s game will be at its maximum I’m sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jennings had a really big game. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Andrew Bogut has a really big game against those match-ups with Big Z and Hickson. The Bucks may also want to consider putting LRMAM on Lebron and Ersan on Jamison.

    Where did u hear about Lebron’s displeasure with Jennings? I’m curious….

    • Heard about it from the Plain Dealer’s beat writer, Brian Windhorst via his Twitter the day after that game.

  4. How much better would the Kings or Warriors be with a legitimate point guard who can score. Rather than scoring guards trying to adapt & learn on the fly. The hardest position in basektball let alone the N.B.A.
    The league want’s to give R.O.Y. to Curry because Blake is hurt. The fans most of them want Tyreke Evans to get it. The players in the league I think most would agree that Jennings deserve it for leading his team to the playoffs. They usually say it’s not how you start but how you finish. Yet how you start determines the shaping of the finishing path. How he came out the gates & let people know from the gates the Bucks weren’t going to be a team of the past. Cannot & shouldn’t be overlooked. He made people take notice of the Bucks. They were legit w/o their supposed star. His #’s overall are still better than some veterans. His only bad #”s are percentages. Which you can factor in Injury,substitutions,coaching,confidence. His game still puts him in the driver seat of the Fear Deer movement. I’m on board let’s get em.