The Central’s best and worst battle it out again: Bucks — Pacers Preview

giannis antetokounmpo driving
(AP Photo/Darren Hauck)

We all thought the Bucks were done making moves last Thursday by 2 pm when the NBA trade deadline passed. As it turns out, they had one more in the works, as they’re planning to buy out the remainder of Caron Butler‘s contract and allow him to sign with a more successful team for the remainder of the season. It remains to be seen how the Bucks’ newly-opened roster spot will be put to use.

While they won’t have anyone in that spot by game time tonight in Indiana, the team will have the exact same active roster, as Butler sat out the last matchup between these two teams five days ago. The only difference is that this time he won’t be around to sit on the sidelines in a spiffy suit and dole out high fives during time outs. I hope the other guys can manage.

What to Watch For: Bucks

Defying all sorts of logic, the Bucks turned last Saturday’s game at the BMOBC into an actual entertaining display of basketball, bouncing back after a bad start and hanging close with Indiana for almost the entirety of the second half before finally succumbing to the onslaught of Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson, who scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to help secure the win for the Pacers.

The interesting part when digging through the box score from that game is that only two Bucks really had noteworthy games: Brandon Knight, for his 30 point/8 assist effort, and newcomer Jeff Adrien, who posted only 6 points and 11 rebounds but led the team with a +5 +/- rating. If they’re going to continue to keep up with the league-leading Pacers, the Bucks will need a more balanced attack. The recent three-point barrage from O.J. Mayo (25 points, 7 threes Monday against Philadelphia) off of the bench could provide the extra firepower necessary for that task.

What to Watch For: Pacers

Paul George (32 points), David West (30 points) and Stephenson (24 points/9 rebounds/8 assists) had their way in last weekend’s matchup. It’s logical to continue to expect these feats from George, the legitimate superstar; Stephenson, the unhinged madman; and West, the powerful veteran–at least, whenever he’s matched up against Ersan Ilyasova.

In addition, we’ll see the Milwaukee debut of new Pacer Evan Turner, who figures to bring some scoring punch to a bench that had otherwise struggled to do so. He led the Indiana reserves to a season-high 50 points in a win against the Lakers on Tuesday, and the Pacers are hoping that he can continue that effort as they gear up for a title run this season.

Logistics

Time – 6:00 p.m. CST

TV – FS Wisconsin

Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out), Larry Sanders (face surgery; out)

Pacers: None. Must be nice.

Projected Lineups

Bucks: 

PG Nate Wolters

SG Brandon Knight

SF Khris Middleton

PF Ersan Ilyasova

Zaza Pachulia

76ers The Opposite of the 76ers:

PG George Hill

SG Lance Stephenson

SF Paul George

PF David West

Roy Hibbert

Choose the form of the Destroyer: David West

david west dominates ersan ilyasova
Pictured, from right: Angry David West, Ersan’s last moments (probably)
(AP Photo/Darren Hauck)

You know that one guy at the gym playing pickup basketball that’s about ten years older than anyone else and kind-of-but-not-really in shape but still battles down low and catches you off guard with his intensity? Old man strength. That’s the best parallel I can come up with for David West, except that David West does that to NBA players. Technically, he peaked right around 2008-09 when he played for the New Orleans Hornets when he averaged a cool 21 and 8. But, as we saw throughout these teams’ previous matchup, West still bulls his way around, over, and through opponents to get his.

I estimate that he’ll continue to do a lot of gettin’ his against the Bucks.

Prediction: Pacers 114 – Bucks 98

Categories: Game Previews

Mitch has been a fan of the Bucks since the days of…

5 Comments

  1. In the picture with West and Ilaysova, it appears they are wearing the same kind of shoe. This would be their only similarity. So true about the old man at pick up, love that guy.