Category: Game Previews
What to Watch For: Bucks
The trade deadline is 3 p.m. CST Thursday. After this game, the Bucks don’t play again until Thursday night.
Alas, this could be the last night Ersan Ilyasova pump fakes in a Bucks uniform.
This could be the last night Luke Ridnour drills a pull-up jumper in transition in a Bucks uniform
This could be the last night Gary Neal chucks up a long jumper without the slightest consideration for passing in a Bucks uniform.
Savor it, Milwaukee. Savor it all.
What to Watch For: Magic
Arron Afflalo, 28, is quietly having the best season of his career. In fact, he probably should have been an All-Star this past weekend — at least over Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson. Afflalo’s scoring average (19.4), assist percentage (17.9) and PER (17.3) are all career highs. Despite the highest usage rate of his career (23.5 percent), his scoring efficiency (57.9 true shooting percentage) remains respectable.
Afflalo used to be a prototypical “3-and-D” guard. As a role player in Detroit and Denver, his duties were simple: play pesky perimeter defense and shoot spot-up threes. Afflalo’s role in Orlando has been quite different, featuring an expected give and take. While his defensive prowess deteriorates each season in Orlando — he’s allowing individual opponents to score 0.95 points per possession this season, which ranks 326th in the NBA, according to Synergy Sports — his offensive repertoire continues to expand. He can now attack the rim and create his shot own with relative ease, as portrayed in the two two charts below:
Ideally, Afflalo wouldn’t be his team’s primary scoring option; he would likely be a legitimate number two or three option on a playoff squad. Yet, it doesn’t appear the Magic are eager to put him in such a situation:
The Magic continue to view Arron Afflalo as a piece that fits the big picture plan. His age and contract are workable no rush to change that
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) February 15, 2014
As an aside, I don’t particularly enjoy player comparisons, but Khris Middleton reminds me a lot of early-career Afflalo. The statistics below seem to bear this out to some degree.
(Note: The top chart reflects per-36 numbers.)
Time – 7 p.m. CST
TV – FS Wisconsin
Radio – 620 WTMJ
Bucks: Caron Butler (ankle; probable), John Henson (ankle; probable) O.J. Mayo (illness/conditioning; probable), Ekpe Udoh (knee; questionable), Larry Sanders (fractured orbital bone; out), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out)
PG Brandon Knight
SG Nate Wolters
SF Khris Middleton
PF Ersan Ilyasova
C Zaza Pachulia
PG Jameer Nelson
SG Arron Afflalo
SF Tobias Harris
PF Glen Davis
C Nikola Vucevic
The Bucks make a trade even less meaningful than the Tyronn Lue – Keith Bogans swap.