In Los Angeles, Bucks to play team with more injuries, strife than themselves?

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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. #1Kobe 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.

Logistics

Time – 9:30 p.m. CST

TV – FS Wisconsin (local)

Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

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)

Projected Lineups

Bucks: 

PG Brandon Knight

SG Luke Ridnour

SF Giannis Antetokounmpo

PF Ersan Ilyasova

C Larry Sanders

Lakers:

PG Jordan Farmar

SG Jodie Meeks

SF Nick Young

PF Shawne Williams

C Pau Gasol

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

Line: Lakers-6

Over/Under: 203

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

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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.

Prediction: Bucks 97 – Lakers 94

Categories: Game Previews

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6 Comments

  1. Ridnour? Use Middleton as a bench energy/scorer guy? I see that being Khris’ Ft role eventually but I really have no idea why you start Ridnour.

  2. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons middleton is coming of the bench this game is Drew is matching him Swaggy P. I’d do the same thing. 2 pgs on the floor means more oops to giannis, hopefully.

  3. Ridnour- this is perfect for him to have a big game. Hopefully will persuade the Lakers to pick him up for another 2nd and gives more PT to Wolters.

  4. Yeah they should just keep the same line up because they have been winning and now by playing Ridnour they’re tanking. I would say they started tanking when they started playing Wolters in front of Ridnour and giannus over mayo or butler, Neal. They decided to get young guys experience over wins and now you think they’re tanking ? ? ? They have 6 wins who cares who starts ?? ? ? I would agree that it’s weird move in general because middleton has been probably the most consistant player but who really cares?? Let Ridnour get some time and hopefully he can get traded to a team that he can help in the playoffs of the bench.

  5. You should probably give some titles to each section of the predictive part of the article if different people are clearly going to do different sections each game. A prediction of Lakers -6/7.5 and over 203 and then a predicted score of Bucks 97 – Lakers 94….Just call the score prediction “Jon’s/KL’s Prediction” if it’s not gonna jibe with Jeremy’s part.