Bucks-Bulls preview

Milwaukee Bucks Status Check:
Record: 12-17
Division: 2-2
Conference: 7-6
Road Record: 5-10
Last game: Lost 95-80 at home to the Hawks
Last 10 Games: 5-5
PPG: 90.8 (30th)
Opponents PPG: 92.7 (4th)
Offensive Rating: 100.0 (30th)
Defensive Rating: 102.2 (5th)
Pace: 90.4 (25th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .449 (30th)
Turnover Percentage: .132 (10th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .760 (6th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .261 (14th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .242 (8th)
Opp. eFG%: .488 (12th)
Opp. TO%: .154 (3rd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .239 (18th)

Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.

The Bucks were supposed to be better than this. They were supposed to be challenging the Bulls for the Central Division title. In theory, they could have been — some people would say “should have been” — one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference.

Those are the kinds of things I was reading before the season began. It kinda-sorta made sense. Last season, they ranked 2nd in Defensive Rating and won 46 games. Over the summer, they bolstered their roster by re-signing John Salmons and adding Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden. Plus, Brandon Jennings was supposed to be a year better and Andrew Bogut was back and healthy.

All things being equal, this year’s Bucks team should have been better than last year’s squad.

Ah…if only life worked that way.

In all fairness, there have been injuries. The Bucks are currently without leading scorer Brandon Jennings, Drew Gooden and Carlos Delfino. Corey Maggette and Andrew Bogut have both missed time.

Furthermore, John Salmons — while healthy — has been a disappointment. In 30 games with Milwaukee last season, Salmons averaged 19.9 PPG on 47 percent shooting. In 28 games this season, John is giving the Bucks only 13.5 PPG on 38 percent shooting. This is what I refer to as “Pre-Trade Deadline John Salmons.”

Not surprisingly, the Bucks are woeful on offense, ranking dead last in PPG, FPG, eFG% and Offensive Rating. They still have one of the league’s best defenses, but they have to lock down their opponents to win. As proof, they are 0-6 this season when giving up 50 percent shooting.

With the injuries and overall poor play, the Bucks have been wildly inconsistent. Last week, they blew out the Lakers in L.A. Last night, they got thumped at home by the Hawks. It’s hard to tell what the Bulls are in for tonight. On the one hand, playing at home after a couple days rest should give Chicago an advantage, and playing the second night of back-to-backs should be a disadvantage for Milwaukee.

And yet…the Bucks were embarrassed at home. This could be a pride game for them.

Fear the Deer.

5 Responses to Bucks-Bulls preview

  1. Dre5852@yahoo.com'
    andre December 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    The bulls dont usually underestimate their opponents [see 76ers game] go Bulls!

  2. Joe.seZ@Gmail.com'
    Joe December 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Adding Maggette will make your team worse. He was happily trade by the GSW in a move lauded by fans and press.

  3. gorditadog@aol.com'
    Gorditadog December 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    The Bucks are full of role players, just the kind of team Skiles likes to coach. The problem is he’s got too many underachievers in that mix. Salmons was the most frustrating player to have on the Bulls since Jamal Crawford- Good luck to Milwaukee with that one. Watch him go all Tracy McGrady on us tonight now.

  4. Inception December 29, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    who would’ve predicted this….the bulls and lakers would have similar records after boozer misses the beginning of the season and noah goes down with an injury….keep it up bullies!

  5. Dre5852@yahoo.com'
    andre December 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Wow in Chicago were excited to have a 20-10 record in L.A they’re on red alert.

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