‘Nothing Easy’ heads to the Big Easy: A Bucks — Pelicans Preview
What to Watch For: Bucks
The Bucks are 2-21 against the Western Conference this season and one of those wins came against the Lakers.
Nate Wolters has averaged fewer than 20 minutes per game in the six games since Ramon Sessions arrived via trade, but it’s hard to argue with the results: both point guards are playing well, and the Bucks are faring better than they have all season. Wolters, in particular, is shooting well (16/29, 55.2 FG%) over the same stretch.
In fact, Wolters seems to have found his three-point stroke. In February and March, Wolters has made 8-of-19 three-point attempts, after making only 3-of-29 of his long-distance tries prior to that. The Bucks will need him to shoot a bit in this game, because they cannot afford to have an extra defender clogging the paint when they will already have to overcome the interior presence the NBA’s best young shotblocker: Anthony Davis.
What to Watch For: Pelicans
Since the last time these two teams played on February 12, the Bucks are 3-5 and the Pelicans are 1-8, with the lone win coming in their most recent game Tuesday against the Lakers. In the same span, Alexis Ajinca notched his first two career double-doubles.
It used to be fairly routine for All-Star quality big men to average 20+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 3+ blocks per game, but no one has done it since Shaquille O’Neal did it in 1999-2000. Anthony Davis (20.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.9bpg) is on the verge of being the first to do it in over a decade AND being the youngest player to ever pull off the feat.
He’s really good.
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)
Pelicans: Ryan Anderson (herniated disc; out), Jrue Holiday (right tibia stress fracture; out), Jason Smith (right knee cartilage; out)
PG Nate Wolters
SG Brandon Knight
SF Khris Middleton
PF Ersan Ilyasova
C Zaza Pachulia
PG Brian Roberts
SG Eric Gordon
SF Tyreke Evans
PF Anthony Davis
C Alexis Ajinca
Choose the form of the Destroyer: Tyreke Evans
One of the key determinants of the last Pelicans/Bucks game was Brian Roberts using his dribble to set up teammates.
But if you look at the NBA’s StatVU numbers, it’s Tyreke Evans who produces most for the Pelicans off of drives. He ranks fourth in the NBA in team points per game off drives (11.0) — and he usually does it coming off the bench. In this game, he’ll likely start and he will be starting opposite Khris Middleton, who had trouble stopping Rudy Gay off the bounce Wednesday.
Part of the reason for Evans’s steadfast willingness to attack the rim is that his jump shot is worse than mine. If the Bucks have an interest in winning, they will take note of the numbers, sag toward the paint off Evans and let him have any outside shot he wants.
Prediction: Bucks 103 – Pelicans 99
Categories: Game Previews