Grit. Grind. Grizz. Memphis Grizzlies at Milwaukee Bucks Preview

(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Larry Sanders has been great this season. He’s been so great that I’ve finally bestowed upon him the prestigious title of “Professional Basketball Player.” I realize that’s an incredibly condescending thing to say, but I mean that in the best way possible. I’m not just happy that Sanders is playing well – I’m happy for Sanders. But Sanders hasn’t faced a challenge quite like this in both quality and style.

The Memphis Grizzlies are ranked second in the NBA in post-up offense. They average 1.04 points per possession (PPP) on post-ups. It’s a small sample size, but I’m quite sure that Grizzlies are about that good at post-ups. They were ranked fourth last year with 0.87 PPP. The Grizzlies had 51 rebounds in their last game against the Utah Jazz (a team with a talented frontcourt as well). Basically, I’m just trying to make the case that the Grizzlies have a very talented frontcourt – something that should be easily accepted. They have Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. I shouldn’t be working this hard to try to prove they’re good.

The Bucks haven’t faced an opponent with nearly this much size and as much focus on post play. The Cleveland Cavaliers bigs do most of their damage off the pick and roll. Thirty percent of Anderson Varejao’s points have come from pick and rolls. The Boston Celtics decided to downsize with Kevin Garnett starting at center. Sanders has always had the length speed, and strength to effectively defend smaller bigs or help defend offenses focused on the pick and roll. Can he defend bigger frontcourts that focus on post-ups?

This offseason, the Bucks decided that he can’t when they signed Samuel Dalembert. Dalembert hasn’t gotten much play at all in the first two games, but this is what he was brought in for. Dalembert allowed 0.75 PPP on post-ups last year. Sanders allowed 0.81 PPP. It’s only a .06 difference per possession, but that can be a one to two point difference in a game against a team that posts up a lot.  Considering that it took a buzzer beater win the last game that could be the difference.

Choose the Form of the Destroyer

Tony Allen because I got a LOL from him once.

Matchup of the Game

Tobias Harris vs. Rudy Gay
Pretty much anytime Harris is facing a premiere small forward is the matchup of the game because I’m completely obsessed in tracking his progress. Against the Cavaliers, Harris was constantly matched up against a smaller player because the Cavs elected to play Alonzo Gee against Brandon Jennings. He didn’t make them pay for it. Mike Dunleavy did.


Injury News

Beno Udrih :(
John Henson :)

Ekpe Udoh All-Star Watch

I’m not saying Jennings only hit that shot because Udoh took out two Cavs on a moving screen which led to an open shot. I’m saying that the Bucks only won because of that.


Dalembert gets 20+ minutes for the first time this season.

Categories: Game Previews

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  1. This could be a real struggle tonight. Need the size of vet centers but don’t want to slow pace and hinder offence.

    We have all that front court depth that everyone was whining about…who is going to have an impact on the game tonight?

    It’s anybody’s guess, Skiles especially included!

  2. Larry needs to stay grounded tonight and he should be ok. I think the key tonight will be Ersan knocking down those long 2s/3s that he’s missed the first two games. If he can pull Z-Bo out of the paint and open up the lane we should be able to keep up with their devastating offensive post game. The Pryza should get 5-10 just to push around z-bo and get him moody.

  3. It’s really not a surprise we got handled so badly. It could have been closer had Skiles not put out that garbage lineup in the second quarter that couldn’t score, at all. But that’s beside the main point, Jim and John said it the whole game, the Grizzlies are just too big for this Bucks team.

  4. It was unfortunate that the Bucks couldn’t score, but I don’t think Skiles should be blamed for a garbage lineup. Jennings, Lamb, Dunleavy, Udoh & Sanders started the quarter. Lamb was in for Ellis and Udoh in for Illyasova because those two guys played the entire first quarter. Five minutes into second quarter Skiles put all the starters back in. Jennings, Ellis, Harris, Ilyasova & Dalembert. These guys put out the effort, they just couldn’t get the payoff.