Milwaukee Bucks (Scott Skiles) 5-9
Inactive: Chris Douglas-Roberts, Michael Redd, Darington Hobson
Detroit Pistons (John Kuester) 5-10
Inactive: Terrico White, Jonas Jerebko, Chris Wilcox
Time: 6:30 PM (CST)
TV: FS Wisconsin
Enemy: Piston Powered
Brandon Jennings vs. Rodney Stuckey
Jennings is impossible to predict right now; he could blow Stuckey off the floor, or he could miss 20 shots, that’s just how things are going for the Bucks right now. Stuckey has the size and strength to give Jennings all kinds of problems, but has consistency issues of his own. When he played well against Milwaukee last season, the Pistons won. If Bogut is unable to go, that could free Stuckey to get to the basket and do damage; that’s when he’s at his best.
John Salmons vs. Rip Hamilton
The Pistons don’t ask Hamilton to create as much as they ask him to spot up and come off screens, that’s logical basketball, as he’s not much of a creator. Unfortunately, at this point Salmons isn’t either. Every game, Bucks fans are hoping last season’s John Salmons suddenly makes his return, but so far he’s only played a handful of good games. Since so many possessions are initiated by Salmons, he’s as good a barometer for the team as any. If he struggles again, so will the Bucks.
Luc Mbah a Moute vs. Tayshaun Prince
Prince is still a sound defender, but he hasn’t done much else this year. Once a capable 3-point shooter, he’s attempted only seven this season and he’s hit just 18 of 32 free throws on the year. That doesn’t make for a very threatening offensive player. When it comes to offensive players that aren’t threatening though, Mbah a Moute takes the cake. He played well against the Cavs, getting to the basket on a number of occasions and finishing strong, that’s what he can do. Against the Pistons who lack much of anything up front, he should have those opportunities again.
Drew Gooden vs. Austin Daye
When a team is starting Austin Daye at the four, they probably aren’t very good. He’s likely the skinniest power forward in the league and Gooden theoretically should have a big night opportunity. Since he’s on this season’s Milwaukee Bucks though, he probably won’t. In all seriousness though, this should be a big rebounding night for Gooden. It won’t take much to keep Daye off the glass and he doesn’t pose much of a threat on box outs. A big offensive rebounding night from Gooden would go a long way for the Bucks in Detroit.
Jon Brockman vs. Ben Wallace
If Brockman gets the start, I’m not sure. He wasn’t very effective in Cleveland, probably because he’s not a very effective center. He’s just too undersized and over-matched, though the Pistons have even less at the five than the Cavs did. Hopefully Bogut can make a return this evening, but if he doesn’t, Larry Sanders should be in line for the majority of the minutes after a strong game in Cleveland.
Corey Maggette, Larry Sanders, Keyon Dooling and Ersan Ilyasova
Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiel and Tracy McGrady
Offensively, the Pistons have quite an imposing bench. Villanueva has flipped the 3-point switch for the time being and Gordon can still shoot with anyone in the league. Maxiel is a dirty work kind of guy, but has some athleticism too. The downside to the Pistons bench is, they haven’t been able to stop anyone. Milwaukee generally finds a way to stop themselves though, so that’s a good thing for the Pistons. Dooling is coming off his finest game as a Bucks player in Cleveland the other night and Ilyasova looked strong crashing the boards again.
Prediction: Bucks 87 – Pistons 85
Milwaukee did everything but win in Cleveland, that’s a start. While the Pistons seem like they have talent at every position, they have very little chemistry, as evidenced by their poor offensive rating (104) and even worse defensive rating (109.9). If Milwaukee is ever going to do anything offensively, the Pistons are the kind of team for them to do it against.
Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter. Then become a fan on Facebook (to the right).