Second night of a back-to-back, for the second time in a week, against a team with several days of rest coming in. Things don't get any easier for the Sixers, but the wins remain just a crucial. Jrue Holiday matches up with an old friend tonight in MIL. Brief preview and long game thread to follow.
- PG: Jrue Holiday vs. Brandon Jennings
- SG: Jodie Meeks vs. John Salmons
- SF: Andre Iguodalla vs. Carlos Delfino
- PF: Elton Brand vs. Luc Mbah a Moute (the guy who dislocated his shoulder)
- C: Spencer Hawes vs. Andrew Bogut
The Bucks are making an improbable late push for the playoffs. They currently find themselves only one game behind the sinking Pacers with the Bobcats in between them. You won't find a worse offensive team in the NBA, literally. They rank 30th in OFR. Their defense (and the sad state of affairs below the Sixers in the Eastern Conference) is the only thing keeping their playoff hopes alive. Milwaukee has the 4th-best DFR in the league at 102.3.
This past summer, their GM made some extremely questionable moves to bolster his team's offensive prowess. Corey Maggette, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Drew Gooden were brought in to score points in the half court. None of them has moved the needle (Both Gooden and Maggette are expected to miss tonight's game).
Milwaukee is definitely beatable on their home floor, they only play .500 ball at home.
Defensively, I'm not sure you really need to gameplan for anything. Jennings is having a terrible sophomore season, shooting under 40% from the floor with poor peripherals to go along with it. John Salmons (39%) and Early Boykins (36%) are the only guys on their team who shoot at or above league-average from three. Bogut is a shell of his former self since the traumatic elbow injury he suffered last season.
For me, the main offensive key is to keep the turnovers down. The Bucks take care of the ball pretty well, and they force a lot of turnovers. That possession discrepancy is probably the only thing that keeps them in a lot of games. Attack mismatches, put some pressure on help defenders and swing the ball from side to side on the offensive end and the Sixers should be able to put enough points on the board against this defense. Just take care of the ball and I don't see this as being a very tough game.
Iguodala, Jrue and Meeks all played 35+ minutes last night. Keep an eye on their legs. It would be nice to see Turner get off early and be able to eat up some minutes for Jrue and Iguodala, those guys have been playing a ton recently.
PHI 95, MIL 84
The tip is at 8pm. This is your game thread, I'll be right here throughout crossing my fingers that my wireless connection doesn't crap out on me again. Join me if you're pumped for 4-games over .500.
Other games of note:
ATL hosts the Blazers.