What to Watch For: Bucks
Another starting lineup. If so, it will be the 18th starting lineup in 31 games.
According Charles F. Gardner, Larry Drew has decided to take his one stabilizing force over the duration of the entire season, Khris Middleton, and replace him with Luke Ridnour.
Why would he make such a move? Am I allowed to say ‘tanking’? Because I can’t really see any reason for taking the player who has played the most minutes only to replace him with Ridnour, a short-time vet who has done little to impress this season. While the move gives them another point guard on the floor (and arguably twice as many as the Lakers will dress tonight), it also takes out one of the team’s best defenders and replaces him with one of the team’s worst.
I don’t get it. Unless the whole thing is upside-down, and losing is the answer. Because I can get behind that for this season, and it may take quite an underwhelming effort to lose to Los Angeles.
What to Watch For: Lakers
Bad thing for L.A. #1: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Xavier Henry will not play in this game due to injury.
Bad thing for L.A. #2: The Lakers have lost five straight games, including a home loss Sunday night to the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that had not won a road game since Nov. 1.
Bad thing for L.A. #3: To truly make matters dire, their best available player, Pau Gasol, got excoriated by one of the team’s beat writers for not playing the last two games with a so-called upper respiratory infection. Now it’s rumored that Gasol may be a trade chip in a swap with Cleveland for former Laker Andrew Bynum.
The trade has reportedly been shot down by L.A. If Gasol plays, expect a distracted effort from one of the league’s best at distracted efforts.
Time – 9:30 p.m. CST
TV – FS Wisconsin (local)
Radio – 620 WTMJ
Bucks: John Henson (ankle; out), Zaza Pachulia (foot; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)
Lakers: Steve Blake (torn ulnar collateral ligament; out), Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee; out), Pau Gasol (upper respiratory infection; probable), Xavier Henry (right knee bone bruise; out), Wesley Johnson (gastroenteritis; questionable), Chris Kaman (moderate ankle sprain; questionable), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation; out)
PG Brandon Knight
SG Luke Ridnour
SF Giannis Antetokounmpo
PF Ersan Ilyasova
C Larry Sanders
PG Jordan Farmar
SG Jodie Meeks
SF Nick Young
PF Shawne Williams
C Pau Gasol
Jeremy’s For Recreational Purposes Only Prediction (aka Betsketball)
Short and sweet: Lakers -6, under 203.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Lakers 7.5, over 203.
Record: 19-19 (7-11 ATS and 11-7 over/under)
Choose the Form of the Destroyer: Jordan Hill
With all the injuries piling up, it always seems like the Lakers are trotting out lineups that feature four wings and a power forward. It makes for a discomforting watch from an aesthetic point of view. But Hill is a big, active player who may be able to outmuscle the Bucks at various junctures of the game.