The Sixers last met the Bucks, in Milwaukee, on December 17th. Going into that game, both teams were struggling about 5 games under .500. That was the night Elton Brand was lost to injury. Since Philly's 93-88 win
, the teams have gone in different directions.
Over their last 9 games, Milwaukee has gone 6-3 with quality wins over San Antonio and Utah. The Sixers, on the other hand, have gone 3-6.
When looking at the stats (above), the Bucks look very similar to the Sixers. This is the rare game where Philly has a higher eFG than their opponent. The Bucks force a ton of turnovers, crash the glass on both end, and get to the line. They make up for their shooting deficiencies with aggressive play.
The Bucks have two scorers on the wings in Redd and Jefferson. They both shoot the three well (Jefferson better than Redd this season). It looks like Bogut may miss the game. At the point, Luke Ridnour starts, but he splits time with Ramon Sessions. At PF, Charlie Villaneuva will try to set the record for shots/minute whenever he's on the floor.
Looking at their numbers, they key to beating the Bucks is limiting Jefferson and Redd on the perimeter. They're the only two guys on the roster you need to worry about from distance. If I was devising a strategy for the game, Willie Green would be guarding the point and I'd put Andre Miller on Michael Redd.
It bugs me to see another team playing the Sixers' brand of ball, and having more success with it. The number that jumps out at me from the graph above is the Bucks' opponent's free throw factor. They put you on the line. I expect to see the Sixers beating a path to the charity stripe tonight, their success once they get there could very well decide the game.
Tip is at 8 pm. I'll be here, live, so stop by and join the discussion.