Back to reality: Magic – Bucks Preview

(Photo credit: Fernando Medina, NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo credit: Fernando Medina, NBAE via Getty Images)

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:

Afflalo's Shot Chart (via
Shot Chart (via


Afflalo's Shot Distribution Chart (via
Shot Distribution Chart (via

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:

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.)

Arron Afflalo 2008 2012 362 223 4.7 10.0 .466 1.4 3.6 .405 3.2 6.4 .500 2.2 2.7 .800 4.0 2.2 0.7 0.4 1.3 3.0 12.9
Khris Middleton 2013 2014 79 34 5.2 11.7 .445 1.5 3.8 .405 3.7 7.9 .465 1.7 2.1 .828 4.8 2.4 1.3 0.4 1.6 3.6 13.7
Player From To G PER TS% eFG% FTr 3PAr ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg
Arron Afflalo 2008 2012 362 12.1 .578 .538 .272 .356 2.8 9.9 6.4 9.5 1.0 0.8 10.1 15.6 115 110
Khris Middleton 2013 2014 79 12.6 .542 .511 .178 .323 2.3 13.0 7.5 11.4 1.9 0.8 11.1 18.0 106 110


Time — 7 p.m. CST

TV — FS Wisconsin 

Radio — 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

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)

Magic: N/A

Projected Lineups


PG Brandon Knight

SG Nate Wolters

SF Khris Middleton

PF Ersan Ilyasova

Zaza Pachulia


PG Jameer Nelson

SG Arron Afflalo

SF Tobias Harris

PF Glen Davis

 Nikola Vucevic


The Bucks make a trade even less meaningful than the Tyronn Lue – Keith Bogans swap.

Categories: Game Previews

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  1. I think you meant “This could be the last night Ersan pump fakes a wide-open three to step inside the line and front-rim a 2.” And Caron’s name could go in there too.

    • Or “This could be the last night Ersan pump fakes, lumbers into the lane and loses the ball when his knees inexplicably buckle under him.”