What to Watch For: Bucks
Over the past four weeks, the Bucks have enjoyed the friendliest portion of their season schedule: eight games at home and just two on the road. It’s not over yet either. The Bucks play three of their next four at home before venturing into a stretch that takes them on the road for 10 of 12 games.
The Bucks are giving away a Nate Wolters poster at the game to all fans in attendance. How good has Wolters been? Despite having a 12-47 record and routinely getting drubbed prior to the All-Star break, the Bucks have played nearly even with their opponents with Wolters on the court (Data from NBA.com/stats):
What to Watch For: Kings
There are currently only 20 leaderboard-eligible players in the NBA who average 20 or more points per game. The Kings boast three of them: Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings are 15-16 when they start their full scoring trio, but 6-23 otherwise.
All three are expected to start agains the Bucks.
The last time these two teams played (the game with the Mike Dunleavy/Cousins squabble), 21 players entered in the game. Since then, 15 have relocated/been relocated: Dunleavy, Luc Mbah a Moute, Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert, Marquis Daniels, Drew Gooden, Gustavo Ayon, John Salmons, Jimmer Fredette, Tyreke Evans, Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas, and Marcus Thornton.
Time – 7:00 p.m. CST
TV – Fox Sports Wisconsin
Radio – 620 WTMJ
Bucks: Ekpe Udoh (right knee swelling, questionable), Carlos Delfino (foot surgery; out), Larry Sanders (face surgery; out)
Kings: Carl Landry (knee soreness; day-to-day), Jason Terry (left knee injury; out for season)
PG Nate Wolters
SG Brandon Knight
SF Khris Middleton
PF Ersan Ilyasova
C Zaza Pachulia
PG Isaiah Thomas
SG Ben McLemore
SF Rudy Gay
PF Jason Thompson
C DeMarcus Cousins
Choose the form of the Destroyer: DeMarcus Cousins
I feel 99% confident that DeMarcus Cousins will be the destroyer in this game. I’m just not sure which team he’ll destroy.
Cousins should have a marked edge over Zaza Pachulia. Pachulia is a ridiculously smart basketball player, a hard-nosed guy and a good passer. Zaza will devise clever ways to get himself to the free throw line and make those free throws. But he simply cannot jump or move side-to-side at this point. Prior to the Utah game, he had made just 5 of his previous 26 shots, and many of those were putbacks and shots deep in the paint that were heavily contested because that’s currently something that’s very easy to do to Pachulia’s shots.
But Zaza is also something of an agitator. He’s the proverbial “player that you hate until he’s on your team”. And DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t fare well in against those guys. He already has 15 technical fouls on the season; another one will fetch him a one-game suspension.
So I would anticipate that Cousins will exact total physical domination on the Bucks or that Pachulia will exact psycho-emotional domination on Cousins.
But I don’t know which one. I guess that’s what watching the game is for.