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Is seven enough? (Probably not, but maybe eight will be): Bucks – Bobcats Preview

| November 23, 2013

Category: Game Previews

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Will Kemba WALKer all over the Bucks Saturday night? (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

Will Kemba WALKer all over the Bucks Saturday night? (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

What to Watch For: Bucks

It’s tempting to say the Bucks took a step forward, pushing the Philadelphia 76ers into overtime Friday night. But Milwaukee trailed throughout much of the first half and essentially forced the Sixers into a push in the second half and overtime. So while a late lead was better than no lead at all, Milwaukee still didn’t look great. There was much clamoring for John Henson on Twitter throughout the game yet again, which is a more than reasonable request.

He’s consistently put up impressive numbers when he’s been given extended minutes. He’s slipped as a rebounder this season, but improved as a shot-blocker. At some point, it’s going to be virtually unjustifiable to play Ekpe Udoh in front of him. Perhaps we reached that point and we’ll now see more Henson tonight. Watch for Henson and don’t watch expecting many points.

Also the Bucks have lost seven games in a row. The last time the Bucks lost eight in a row (2007-08), Milwaukee’s coach did not get the opportunity to break the streak. But I don’t think Larry Drew needs to worry.

What to Watch For: Bobcats

So much defense. The Bobcats have been a very good defensive team. through 13 games they rank seventh in the league in defensive rating, allowing 101.9 points per 100 possessions. Now, Al Jefferson has played just four games, so these ratings are subject to change as he takes more minutes and likely contributes little defensively, but the Bobcats appear to have bought into whatever new coach Steve Clifford is selling.

Where the Bobcats do not succeed, is on offense. They’re one of the worst shooting teams in the league and have made just 30.5% of their 3-point attempts. They don’t shoot many and don’t make many, bu that’s to be expected when your backcourt players are Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, 

Injury Report

Bucks: Larry Sanders and Carlos Delfino are out. Brandon Knight is doubtful due to his right hamstring injury.

Bobcats: Jefferson returned to the lineup Friday evening. Brendan Haywood is out after surgery on his left foot.

Projected Lineups

Bucks:

PG Luke Ridnour

SG O.J. Mayo

SF Caron Butler

PF Ersan Ilyasova

C Zaza Pachulia

Bobcats:

PG: Kemba Walker

SG: Gerald Henderson

SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

PF: Josh McRoberts

C: Al Jefferson

Jeremy’s For Recreational Purposes Only Prediction (aka Betsketball)

Line: Bucks -2 Over/Under: 183 The impossible dream turned out to be impossible for a reason. I will not end the season undefeated in my gambling advice. Yesterday’s proclamation that the Bucks would cover 3.5 and the combined score would be over 201 was only half right. Oddly enough, it was the the over that I got right. Halfway through the fourth quarter, when scoring was depressed and the Bucks had a lead, it certainly seemed like I’d go 1-1, but for the opposite reason. But a missed free throw from Ridnour and one of the crazier threes you’ll see this season from Spencer Hawes flipped everything upside down.

Charlotte is quite a different team from the Sixers. There will be no breakneck speed. Pace will slow to a crawl tonight. Neither team has been very impressive on offense this season, but, as noted before, the Bobcats have been very good defensively under new coach, noted defensive mind Clifford. So that’s two slow teams, two bad offenses and one good defense? Give me the Bobcats +2 and the under on 183.

Choose the Form of the Destructor: Gerald Henderson

Henderson, as a Cougar, against the Bucks in 2012. (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

Henderson, as a Cougar, against the Bucks in 2012. (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

Here in Milwaukee, we can’t talk about Gerald Henderson without talking about how he always kills the Bucks. He’s one of those guys. At least I think that’s the rule. To be fair though, I’m basing that on conversations with my dad about the Bobcats that at some point mention Henderson, at which point he’ll inevitably give me that: “THAT GUY ALWAYS KILLS US!” routine. It’s possible he’s the only one who says this and that maybe this is a complexion I’m carrying around in my head that no one shares.

Regardless, I did a bit of research and it turns out that probably isn’t true. In 10 career games against the Bucks, he’s averaged just 12.7 points in 25.7 minutes. He averages more than 12.7 points against nine other teams. But he did score 29 points against a Bucks team hungry for a playoff spot in March of 2012, so I think that’s where much of the reputation stems. So, now that I’ve declared he’s no Bucks killer, I await a 30-point night.

Prediction:

Bobcats 90 – Bucks 84

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About the Author ()

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in January of 2009 because he hated his job. It’s like basketball, but with Bucks instead of basket. I know ... I’m sorry. He might come off as a bit negative, but I'm really not so bad. He just wants the Bucks to succeed, so he points out areas where they are coming up short. Someone has got to do it and he's ornery and opinionated enough to take on that task. He isn't sure if this should be in third person or not. Contact him at Jeremy@Bucksketball.com if you must use e-mail.

Comments (4)

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  1. Berdj Rassam says:

    Butler and Mayo are the only real talent on this team – not enough to compete in this NBA.

  2. Jason says:

    Go Bobcats! Lets get our tank on Bucks!