Milwaukee Bucks Status Check:
Home Record: 9-8
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Streak: Won 1
Last game: 97-93 win over Philadelphia
PPG: 95.4 (13th)
Opponents PPG: 97.9 (23rd)
Offensive Rating: 102.8 (17th)
Defensive Rating: 105.5 (22nd)
Pace: 92.5 (7th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .462 (25th)
Turnover Percentage: .132 (4th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .695 (27th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .281 (13th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .197 (19th)
Opp. eFG%: .492 (22nd)
Opp. TO%: .153 (5th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .220 (20th)
Leading scorer: Brandon Jennings (18.9)
Stats from Basketball-Reference
Milwaukee Injury Report:
Andrew Bogut: out (broken ankle)
Stephen Jackson: out indefinitely (strained hamstring)
Chicago will face Milwaukee for the fourth and final time of the season tonight. The Bulls have won the past three match-ups, scoring an average of 110.0 points in the three victories.
Chicago is coming off a back-to-back and heading right into another. After playing Milwaukee tonight they take on Orlando on Thursday, back in the United Center. Chicago travels to the Bradley Center, before returning to Chicago for a pretty tough six game home stretch (games against Orlando, New York, Miami and Philadelphia).
But the task at hand is one Chicago has handled all season, beating the Bucks by an average of 16.3 points per victory.
Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said this recently: “We’ve allowed pretty much every team’s point guard to penetrate us the whole game right from the beginning of the season. That’s been a huge problem. In part because our point guards on defense and in part because our bigs not stopping the ball. Basket protection at the end of the play has been an issue as well. We haven’t been very physical.” (Quote from Bucksketball)
This seems like a dream for Derrick Rose, doesn’t it?
Now, Skiles said that before the Bucks beat the Sixers on Monday night. This victory over Philadelphia continued Milwaukee’s season of beating some of the best teams in the league, while still having a somewhat poor record (15-23). They’ve beaten San Antonio, Miami (twice) and the Lakers, while also losing to teams like the Hornets, Pistons, Suns (twice) and even the Bobcats.
So it’s hard to figure out the Bucks.
In the win against Philly, Brandon Jennings scored 33 points (11-23 shooting) to go with seven assists and four rebounds. Drew Gooden pitched in 25 points and ten rebounds, while Ersan Ilyasova did his best Rajon Rondo impression, grabbing 18 rebounds to go with eleven points.
Milwaukee held the Sixers to 27 percent shooting in the second half, after allowing 48 percent shooting in the first. The point guard problem Skiles talked about what pretty well solved for at least one game, as the Bucks held Jrue Holiday to eight points and five assists.
Joakim Noah recorded a triple-double in his last game against Milwaukee, scoring 13 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing ten assists. The Bulls outrebounded the Bucks 49-29 in this game, and also had 12 more assists. The Bucks had just 17 defensive rebounds, as the Bulls shot 54.4 percent on offense.
The Bulls did turn the ball over way to much though, losing that battle 20-8. In Chicago’s last two games (against Indian and Philadelphia) they have turned the ball over 29 times, while only forcing 12. Chicago has one of the league’s best defenses (second in defensive rating), but is 23rd in the league in opponent turnover percentage.
Chicago forced just five turnovers against Philly, while Milwaukee made the Sixers cough the ball up 12 times on Monday.
The Bulls are doing a good job of holding on to the ball themselves though, coming in at fifth in turnover percentage (.133), one spot behind Milwaukee (.132).
And even though the Bucks are at home, they have just a 9-8 record at the Berto Center. Chicago is 17-6 on the road, but Bulls fans always travel well up to Milwaukee, so it won’t be a very hostile crowd for Rose and company.
Rebounding battle: As a team, Milwaukee is 23rd in the league in rebounds (41.7) even though they have the seventh fastest pace. Chicago is first in rebounds with the 21st fastest pace. I’m sure you’re getting tired of me talking about team rebounds, so I won’t. Instead I’ll talk about personal rebounds, because two hot rebounders will be going at it tonight (if a rebounder can be hot?).
Tonight will have a good match-up with Noah and Ilyasova going head-to-head (kind of). Ilyasova had 18 rebounds his last time out, and is averaging 11.7 over his last ten games. Noah had 17 his last time out (and 18 on Sunday against Philly) and is averaging 13.2 over his last ten games. May the one who wants it more win.