A team sadder than Milwaukee comes to town: Bucks – Nets Preview

Before We Get Started, A Word On Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton is determined to make me look like a fool this season … and it’s pretty great. I’m all for the Milwaukee Bucks having players that are pretty good. He was a monster yesterday and he did some really nice things. His finish over Marcin Gortat at the rim late in the game was a fantastic example of him doing something that I really didn’t think he had in him.

If Middleton picks up the ability to finish over stronger defenders and create off the bounce a little, he becomes a player with more dimensions than I ever expected. He’s already added the 3-point shot to his arsenal after entering the NBA, so the next step for him would be adding a counter attack for when guys close out hard on him. Given the game he had yesterday and some of the things he flashed, perhaps he’s getting closer to doing that. Huge props to Middleton for being fantastic Saturday night.

I know it made for an entertaining night for me, as he made shot after shot and the group of friends I was with all looked at me with each one with glee in their eyes as I alternately looked shamed, disgusted and gleeful. It’s not that I don’t like Middleton, it’s just that I love to be right. But I’ll accept it when I’m wrong and last night, I WAS SO WRONG about Middleton.

What to Watch For: Bucks

Middleton, obviously.

Aside from that, the Bucks looked much more aggressive, athletic and fast on Saturday than they have in some time. That may owe to the health improvement they’ve gradually seen, and perhaps to Zaza Pachulia’s absence. John Henson was fantastic and Brandon Knight made some big plays. Against an unhealthy Brooklyn Nets team, I’d expect the Bucks to keep looking for every easy opportunity in transition they can get and some aggressive early offense opportunities.

What to Watch For: Nets

Sadness, frustration and head hanging.

Just look at the injury report and you’ll see there isn’t much to watch for the Nets. The big question this season has always been, “How will KG look tonight?” and the answer has typically been: “Slow.”

Logistics:

Time – 7:30 PM Central

TV – FS-Wisconsin

Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Zaza Pachulia (sore fight foot; out), Caron Butler (sore right knee; out), Larry Sanders (thumb; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)

Nets: Deron Williams (sprained ankle ; out), Andrei Kirilenko (back; out), Jason Terry (bruised knee ; out), Paul Pierce (broken hand; out)

Projected Lineups

Bucks:

PG Brandon Knight

SG O.J. Mayo

SF Khris Middleton

PF Ersan Ilyasova

John Henson

Nets:

PG Shaun Livingston

SG Joe Johnson

SF Alan Anderson

PF Kevin Garnett

Brook Lopez

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

Line: Nets -2.5

Over/Under: 190

These Bucks are just unpredictable right now … at least when it comes to the spread. Yes, they typically lose, but it’s hard to tell when they are going to bring a ton of effort and when they’ll roll over. Given the lineups they’ve been playing lately, more young player and energy focused, it seems like a string of games covered is coming.

Naturally, they’ll screw that up for me tonight, but I’ll go with them. Bucks +2.5, under 190.

Record: 12-8 (5-5 ATS and 7-3 over/under)

Choose the Form of the Destructor: Alan Anderson

This guy. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
This guy. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Times are not good in Brooklyn. Anderson has been playing in the range of 25 minutes per game all season and has seen an uptick over the past 10 games, specifically since Paul Pierce went out. I picked him as The Destructor mostly to illustrate the point that THINGS ARE NOT GOOD IN BROOKLYN RIGHT NOW.

Prediction: Bucks 93 – Nets 88

 

Categories: Game Previews

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

2 Comments

  1. Like that starting line-up for the Bucks! — and we have Larry to look forward to.
    Huge minutes last night for Khris and John and somewhat for O.J. Maybe a good night for more Giannis and Nate. Maybe we can spare 15 minutes for Miroslav, to see if he has enough savvy and skills to help offset his lack of foot speed. Keep guys fresh, and hustle, and have some fun!
    If we could use a little help at the two guard, keep an eye on Scott Suggs of the Erie BayHawks in the D-League. He’s getting better with every game, scoring 24 last night. For the season, from the arc, he’s about 10-17. Even if he has some ups and downs (even Kyrie Irving went scoreless last night for the Cavs), another thing I like about Suggsy (what I call him, since we’re such good buddies from the summer league) is that he seems to have a good, team-oriented attitude — which I sense in all or most of our young guys — meaning he could be a good fit as a role player for 15-20 minutes per game. It might be just crazy enough to work.