Bulls-Bucks Preview

Milwaukee Bucks Status Check:
Record: 7-10
Division: 1-0
Conference: 4-3
Road Record: 3-8
Last 10 Games: 5-5
Streak: Won 1
Last game: 105-99 win over Houston
PPG: 93.1 (18th)
Opponents PPG: 94.9 (17th)
Offensive Rating: 100.2 (21st)
Defensive Rating: 102.2 (17th)
Pace: 92.9 (9th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .466 (22nd)
Turnover Percentage: .141 (11th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .724 (21st)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .270 (14th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .176 (28th)
Opp. eFG%: .480 (16th)
Opp. TO%:  .164 (3rd)
Opp. FT/FGA: .256 (27th)
Leading scorer: Brandon Jennings (20.2)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Bucks Injury Report:
Andrew Bogut: out indefinitely (fractured ankle)

After the Bulls first loss in the United Center this season, they look to get back on track against another division opponent, before they hit the road for nine straight games. The Bulls and Bucks will face each other tonight, and again in just over a week, on February 4.

Tonight marks the first of a “three games in four days stretch,” with a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. Milwaukee comes into Chicago on the first night of a back-to-back.

The Bulls loss to Indiana, ended Chicago’s streak of short-handed wins, but they can get another one tonight. According to Nick Friedell, Luol Deng is “highly unlikely” for tonight.  Ronnie Brewer stepped in well for Deng in the Pacers game though, scoring 20 points (8-15), grabbing ten boards and adding five assists.

Although Deng is still out, the Bulls might be getting another key guy back in the line-up. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, if Gibson doesn’t suffer a setback pregame, he will play tonight.  Gibson participated in all of the morning shootaround. Getting Taj back will be a huge benefit, because he could have been used down the stretch against Indiana.

I’m looking at you Carlos Boozer…you’re eleven points on 5-14 shooting. Boozer didn’t shoot well from anywhere, but he is settling for long jumpers way too often this season. Boozington was 2-5 at the rim, 1-3 from 10-15 feet and 2-6 from 16-23 feet against the Pacers.

Last season Boozer averaged six attempts at the rim per game. This season, that number is down to 3.7 attempts per game. His attempts from 16-23 feet have risen from three per game last year, to 5.2 this season (his highest average of his career). Thank gosh he is taking fewer of the most efficient shots, and more of the least efficient shots. But I guess it’s hard to blame him, it must get frustrating getting blocked on about half of your attempts at the rim. Anyway this could be an entire post in itself. I will now get down from my high horse…

The Bucks also have injury woes of their own. Milwaukee will be without Andrew Bogut, who fractured his ankle during the Bucks victory over Houston. Bogut was averaging 11.3 points and a team leading 8.3 rebounds per game. He is out indefinitely and Jeremy Schmidt at Bucksketball broke down Milwaukee’s replacement options. Bogut has missed five games this season already, all of which were losses for Milwaukee.

Last season the Bulls went undefeated against the Milwaukee. Chicago held the Bucks to 38.7 percent shooting in the four match-ups and Milwaukee didn’t score more than 87 points in a game (they averaged 80.5 points against the Bulls).

In two games against Chicago, Brandon Jennings averaged 8.5 points on 33 percent shooting, 3.5 assists and 3.5 turnovers. Rose averaged 21.5 points and 10.8 assists in four games last season against Milwaukee, highlighted by his 30 point, 17 assist game in the final matchup of the season between the two squads.

Noah averaged ten points and 14 rebounds in two games, but he will have an easier time tonight, not going up against Bogut.

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