Bucksketball Podcast

Youth attempts to continue prevailing: Bucks – Spurs preview

| December 11, 2013

Category: Game Previews

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Ginobili will likely need a coat when he walks into the BMOBC tonight. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ginobili will likely need a coat when he walks into the BMOBC tonight. (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

What to Watch For: Bucks

Youth!

Injuries and perhaps some deep thought have forced the hand of Larry Drew. He’s giving big minutes to John Henson and some minutes to both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nate Wolters. The result against the Bulls wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.

What I’d love to see tonight is some retribution for Giannis. He had what was probably his worst game of the year against the Bulls and was especially schooled by the wise Mike DunleavyHopefully he’ll be able to bounce back quick.

What to Watch For: Spurs

If you’re heading downtown to watch this game Wednesday night hoping you’ll see a bunch of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobili, prepare to be disappointed. When San Antonio isn’t resting its stars, Greg Poppovich is making sure they don’t put too many regular season minutes on their bodies. None of the above plays more than 31 minutes per game, even the youngster Leonard.

But you should expect to see a fantastic defense and efficient offense that’s sure to give Milwaukee problems. This could be like Dunleavy vs. Giannis, except across the entire team.

Logistics:

Time – 7:00 PM Central

TV – FS-Wisconsin

Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Zaza Pachulia (right foot fracture; out), Caron Butler (sore left knee; out), Gary Neal (left foot plantar fasciitis; out), Larry Sanders (thumb; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)

Spurs: Tiago Splitter (tight calf; day-to-day).

Projected Lineups

Bucks:

PG Brandon Knight

SG O.J. Mayo

SF Khris Middleton

PF Ekpe Udoh

John Henson

Spurs:

PG Tony Parker

SG Danny Green

SF Kawhi Leonard

PF Tim Duncan

C Boris Diaw

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

Line: Spurs -11.5

Over/Under: 191

I can’t even believe how many players missed yesterday’s Bucks-Bulls game. Had I realized that Luol Deng and Joakim Noah were out for Chicago, I may have been able to salvage my ATS record a bit, but I didn’t. Things are getting out of control fast. Milwaukee and I quite out of sync. The victory over the Wizards? A loss to the Nets? Beating the Bulls? I didn’t see any of that coming.

The Spurs, I feel confident about. Kind of. On one had, the Spurs are a fantastically mechanical organization that commits to excellence. On the other, 11.5 is quite a bit. I’m getting Wizards game flashbacks. I’ll go with it. Bucks +11.5 and the under.

Record: 14-10 (5-7 ATS and 9-3 over/under)

Choose the Form of the Destructor: Danny Green

(Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)Joh

If this is what Khris Middleton ends up like, Milwaukee would be thrilled. He’s a very capable shooter with athleticism to defense twos and threes. His consistency over the past three seasons as a starter has been remarkable.

Green is the sort of player that will find himself planted on the weak side without a Bucks defender very close to him consistently on Wednesday night. It’ll just be on him to make the shots. If history is any indication, he will.

Prediction: Spurs 99 – Bucks 89

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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 (3)

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  1. Sfisch says:

    With the odds of winning so very low, I’d like to see Coach Drew really get creative and throw the whole Bucks roster at the Spurs, meaning at least 20 minutes for everyone and not more than 36 for anyone. Let’s be energetic, enthusiastic, and maybe even exciting. Then, with about 8 minutes left in the game, if it’s still anywhere close in score, put in our best guys for that night down the stretch, and go for the upset.
    In other news: Kendall Marshall after three games for the Delaware 87ers — 21 points/6 rebounds/9 assists. I can’t help myself on this issue of point guard, even if I’m speaking to myself; but if this is a season for trying new things, let’s try another point guard, too.
    Thinking about what Jeremy and Mitch have said on the subject (and I understand if they don’t want to keep responding to me about this), I still think we can try Brandon at the point, plus a new guy, and maybe even have some minutes for Nate. Brandon can play some two guard, as well; he might even like having the right kind of guy to help run the show.
    We need to try something to get over the 85-point mark per game; get more than 14 assists per game as in last night; and get guys more involved in an offense that is both more directed and dynamic. Kendall played with John at UNC, but it doesn’t have to be him. The key is to bring in a more natural point guard with a team attitude who is at least somewhat more tuned into passing than shooting.
    Although this is looking like more of a losing season, let’s at least try another point guard to help keep it from being more of a lost season.

    • Mitch Vomhof says:

      So what asset do you propose the Bucks give up for a D-League point guard? Who do you give up or send out to make room for that player on the roster? The team can’t just add players indiscriminately, someone would have to be moved to accommodate this player’s spot on the roster. Injuries are already limiting the available rotations on the team and removing another player from the mix for one that doesn’t play a position of need at this time doesn’t seem prudent.

      I understand the appeal of a new or “X-factor” player added to the roster, but factoring in the assets the team would give up – as I’ve previously stated – it doesn’t really make sense to reach for a wild card at this point. There’s also a reason these guys are in the D-League – Marshall (among others mentioned) has simply not looked like an NBA-caliber player in his time in the top league, and there’s no reason to believe he’d perform the way you believe he will if he were brought in now.

      The team brought in three new point guards at the beginning of the season. What would make the fourth one any different?

  2. Sfisch says:

    Thanks for your reply, Mitch, which I appreciate as a matter of courtesy and fun discussion (I am trying to up my meds in my asylum here in the wilds of New Mexico, but I can’t guarantee even that would stop all of my fanatical ravings — although I will try to mitigate them).
    First of all, I would point out what you already know, but do it to help make my proposal more attractive: The Milwaukee Bucks are last in the NBA in offense.
    Also, two of our point guards, Brandon and Luke, are apparently more like two guards; the other one, Nate, has some promise… but he seems rather slow and tentative; is so far a bad outside shooter; and there’s a serious question as to whether he’s as NBA ready as someone like Kendall… who set an ACC record for assists in a season, was picked one spot higher than his college teammate John Henson in the same 2012 draft; and who may not have had the right opportunity to show his game in the NBA (cf. Khris, Tobias, Nikola Vucevic, Kawhi Leonard, Chandler Parsons, Ricky Rubio, Isaiah Thomas and other surprises in the NBA).
    I don’t want to get too hung up on Kendall, though. Isn’t there someone out there in the thrift stores of the NBA benches or the D-League who is worth trying? Isn’t there a way to make room for a guy on our roster when so many of our guys are injured, including Carlos for the season? I’m not too thrilled about getting Asik, but couldn’t we trade a couple of our vets for a young big and bulky guy who could be had for a reasonable exchange — and who could also be auditioned this season for a future with the Bucks? Wouldn’t a vet like Gary or Caron or Luke or O.J. or Ersan maybe like to go to a better team at this point in their careers?
    Bottom line is that Brandon is likely a great talent, but he’s learning on the job as a point guard, and probably rather slowly and fitfully; he may never adapt to the role, or thrive there; and in the meantime the whole team suffers during his awkward stretches. In my opinion, we need to bring in a guy more natural and talented at that specific position than either Nate or Luke, to complement Brandon, in a desperate time of stagnant offense, for the good of the team — someone who probably has at least as good of a chance to succeed in the NBA at point as Brandon or Nate; and who is more ready right now; and who could be a good back-up to Brandon even if he becomes great at the point; or who could allow Brandon to become primarily a shooting guard.
    It’s a season of experimentation, anyway, and I don’t see a downside if handled well. If we pick a good guy with a team attitude, then he could fit right in rather than being perceived as a threat, and join in a youth movement that is starting to look rather promising and maybe even exciting. They all have a ways to go to hone their games; we don’t know who will make it and who might not; but it would be great to add another young guy at point to give a reasonable hope of getting our chaotic and inept offense more directed and more dynamic.