What to Watch For: Bucks
What will Larry Drew apologize for tonight? After apologizing for the team’s lackluster effort Saturday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, the Milwaukee Bucks (2-11) looked even worse Monday night in Detroit. Unfortunately for Drew, it doesn’t seem like effort or intensity is the issue. A complete lack of talent is a much more likely reason for their awful performances. The two most efficient shots in the NBA come off transition and in the post. The Bucks rank 27th in both categories. That’s a problem!
Another obvious problem is rebounding where Milwaukee is 29th in boards per game at 39 per game while their opponents grab the third most rebounds in the league at 45.8 per game. The numbers look bad and so do the performances. It’s hard to think of many positives after watching the Bucks. And I don’t expect this to change anytime soon.
Save your apologies, Mr. Drew. Most of us are fine with the losses.
In less depressing news, the Bucks’ new floor will make its regular season debut tonight. I almost forgot a new court was coming. YOU COULD SAY IT ALMOST SLIPPED MY MIND HA HA HA HA HA.
What to Watch For: Wizards
The Washington Wizards (6-8) have developed into a really fun team to watch play. Unfortunately for League Pass lurkers, there excitement will be reduced the next two weeks as second-year guard Bradley Beal sits out with a sore right fibula. But point guard John Wall has been exceptional over his last few games and brings enough excitement by himself (I discuss him more further down in the preview).
The real problem for the Bucks will again occur in the frontcourt where the Wizards have exceptional size with Nene and Marcin Gortat. This duo is capital S Strong and will most likely cause major problems for John Henson. It is likely to be another ugly night in the rebound category. To make matters worse, Nene is riding high after he set a career-high in points with 30 last night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Wizards are simply more talented than the Bucks. And so is every other team in the NBA.
Time – 7:00 PM Central
TV – FS-Wisconsin
Radio – 620 WTMJ
Bucks: Larry Sanders (thumb; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)
Wizards: Bradley Beal (right fibula; out) Otto Porter (right hip flexor; out), Al Harrington (right knee; day-to-day)
PG Brandon Knight
SG O.J. Mayo
SF Khris Middleton
PF Ersan Ilyasova
C Zaza Pachulia
PG John Wall
SG Trevor Ariza
SF Martell Webster
C Marcin Gortat
Jeremy’s For Recreational Purposes Only Prediction (aka Betsketball)
Line: Wizards -3.5
Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh. That’s how I felt about Bucks-Pistons when I checked the score Monday night. I had a prior engagement with a friend. I was eating sushi. The meal was nice. I kept feeling a buzz in my pocket, but I’m attempting to be more human in my day-to-day interactions, so I resisted temptation to pull out my phone and plop it down next to my wasabi filled California Roll.
But I figured something was up, because I don’t usually get that many text messages so suddenly. After dinner, my friend stepped away for a moment and I pulled out my phone, just to see how many texts I had. I had around 10, from various friends who are aware that I do this Bucks thing. I had told all of them all day about taking the under and how I thought it was a really smart play.
I hoped that these were congratulatory text messages. I had the game waiting for me at home. Would I wait and watch through the whole game to find out that I was right yet again? Would I delay my gratification?
I wouldn’t. I couldn’t resist. I pulled out my phone, found the NBA Gametime app and … saw that the Bucks and Pistons had combined for 190 points with more than three minutes to play. Under on 191? Not happening. The dream season? Over. Oh … also the Bucks were getting crushed again. Everything was awful.
I gave Milwaukee too much credit and assumed after a poor performance, they would bounce back and play hard. All foolishness. I have to try and remove human emotion from the process, because we all know emotions are what open us up to weakness and inaccuracy. Wizards -3.5, over 190.
(Quick note: I did not do the prediction you say later in this preview, that explains the inconsistency there.)
Record: 5-3 (2-3 ATS and 3-1 over/under)
Choose the Form of the Destructor: John Wall
The first-overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft has finally found his grove in this league and it’s terrifying. Over his last three games, Wall is averaging 33 points on 61 percent shooting, six assists, 2.66 steals, and ten free throw attempts per game. He’s attacking the basket with confidence after realizing he can use his incredible quickness much more effectively if he varies his pace. He becomes nearly unguardable when his mid-range jumper is falling.
His effectiveness most likely will be reduced with Beal injured. But he played well last night with Trevor Ariza. After they proved unable to control Brandon Jennings and Rodney Stuckey on Monday night, the Bucks will seemingly have little ability to slow Wall down tonight.
This, like the rebounding, could get ugly.