Bucks win their fifth straight: Bucks – Lakers Preview

What to Watch For: Bucks (26-22)

Milwaukee is now four games over .500 and will be five games over .500 at the conclusion of Wednesday night’s game. The Bucks are second in the league in defensive rating and getting the most out of every part of their roster. They’ve found an identity as the season’s gone along as a tough defending team that can make threes, move the ball and score in the paint.

But they struggle in fourth quarters in a bad way. In the month of January, the Bucks had a net rating of -10.9 per 100 possessions in fourth quarters. They’re basically as good as ever defensively late in games, but according to NBA.com/stats the Bucks averaged just 91.7 points per 100 possessions in January fourth quarters. The ball movement and good times that carry the team earlier on, specifically in second quarters it’s seemed, disappear when it matters the most. We talked about this on the most recent Bucksketball Podcast, and answers remain unclear, but it’s certainly a disturbing trend.

Fortunately the Bucks will likely have this game put away well in advance of the fourth quarter, but it remains a concern once competitive NBA teams are on the schedule again.

What to Watch For: Lakers (13-35)

I don’t think there’s anything you actually need to watch for here. Divert your eyes. Watch the Bucks extra. When the Lakers have the ball, watch the Bucks bench and see who interacts with who. Try and spot the player that celebrates the most when Milwaukee does something well or laughs the hardest when Ronnie Price airballs a three. Make an effort to figure out which assistant coach cares the most about defense and which one cares the most about offense.

Or watch the refs. Do you ever watch the refs? They do a lot of running around and make all kinds of crazy hand signals. They’re like very tidy and fit interpreters.

Spend a whole half of a game watching something you never watch in a basketball game. Just make sure you don’t watch the Lakers.

Logistics

Time – 7:00 PM CST TV – Fox Sports Wisconsin Radio – 620 WTMJ

Injury Report

Bucks: Larry Sanders (personal reasons; out); Kendall Marshall (ACL tear; out for season); Damien Inglis (post surgery – right ankle; out for season); Jabari Parker (ACL tear; out for season); Ersan Ilyasova (sore groin; questionable); Zaza Pachulia (calf; questionable)

Lakers: Kobe (shoulder fell off from shooting; out); Jordan Hill (hip flexor; out); Steve Nash (is the oldest; out); Julius Randle (leg; out)

Projected Lineups

Bucks: Brandon KnightKhris MiddletonJared DudleyGiannis AntetokounmpoJohn Henson

Lakers: Jordan ClarksonWayne EllingtonRyan KellyEd Davis – Bobby Sacre

Choose the form of the Destructor (but probably not because he’s on the Lakers): Nick Young

Nick Young dates Iggy Azalea. I’m supposed to have thoughts about that because I’m a basketball blogger, but I honestly have only heard that one song where she talks about being Fancy and seen him shoot terrible, inconsequential shots. I’ve spent some time today Googling these two in an effort to find out what’s interesting about them.

She’s Australian, which I’m into. So she starts with a high grade from me. I see that Snoop Dogg said she looked like a Wayans Brother in White Girls, which is kind of funny, but she played that off pretty well. It kind of seems like people don’t like her because she isn’t the sort of person who should rap the way she does, but I don’t have the energy to get worked up about such a thing. I think I’ll just have to go on finding her not particularly interesting or upsetting either way.

Nick Young misses a lot of shots and shoots a lot of shots. People seem to like that he spends his money on things he thinks are cool and that he gave himself a nickname. I think giving yourself a nickname is kind of lame, but I started calling myself Big J when I bowled a 178 last week, so what can I say? He’s not particularly interesting or upsetting to me either.

This is an unremarkable couple that’s become a power couple because of social media. What a world we live in.

Prediction: Free Chili

Categories: Game Previews

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2 Comments

  1. So awesome that I can see that injury list and still have ZERO doubts about the Bucks winning this game. This team is fun.

  2. In the fourth quarter, when defenses tighten and clamp down, that’s when the need for a true point guard becomes really evident. Along with the need for breaking down defenses with flawless ballhandling and creative passing, there’s the matter of poise and leadership to keep things together and focused and confident.

    Perhaps the Bucks could package a couple of their vets and/or draft picks to get a player who looks like he could fill this role, or at least go a long way toward doing so. Maybe take a chance on someone who’s fairly young, and a backup on another team, and who might be ready to break through as a starting point guard of note in the NBA. Try him out for the rest of the season.

    I’d like to get some names of candidates from others at this site. Look at what D.J. Augustin has done of late for the Pistons; it’ll be interesting to see how well he sustains his initial success filling in for Brandon Jennings, but the idea is for the Bucks to find a pass-first guy who might be ready to break through as a substantial point guard (which is not to say that I’m not still high on Kendall Marshall as a major player at point for the Bucks in the future, either starting or off the bench).