Bulls-Bucks Preview

Milwaukee Bucks Status Check:
Record: 13-19
Division: 3-3
Conference: 9-10
Road Record: 6-11
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Streak: Lost 1
Last game: 93-90 loss to Orlando
PPG: 94.7 (14th)
Opponents PPG: 96.4 (21st)
Offensive Rating: 102.7 (18th)
Defensive Rating: 104.5 (19th)
Pace: 91.9 (13th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .464 (25th)
Turnover Percentage: .134 (6th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .704 (26th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .281 (13th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .191 (23rd)
Opp. eFG%: .486 (17th)
Opp. TO%: .151 (7th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .223 (21st)
Leading scorer: Brandon Jennings (18.3)

Stats from Basketball-Reference

Bucks Injury Report:
Andrew Bogut: out 2-3 months (broken ankle)
Drew Gooden: doubtful for tonight’s game (sprained wrist/sore knee)
Tobias Harris: questionable for tonight’s game (bruised shoulder)

In the last game before the All Star break the Bulls look to top division opponent Milwaukee, who they have beaten twice already this season.

Through all the injuries, Chicago is currently tied for second in the league. They’ve won games without Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson…and basically played the entire season without their offseason pick-up, and supposed starting shooting guard, Rip Hamilton. It’s shocking that Carlos Boozer has been the picture of health for this Bulls team. They’ve proven a lot, but still have a long way to go in the second half of the season to reach the Miami Heat.

But before that comes into play, they have to take care of their last set of business before the break.

The Bulls once again bounced back from a loss (a very, very bad loss) with a solid win against Atlanta. It would have been nice if it would’ve been a dominating win, which is where it was going after the first quarter, but the Bulls and Hawks never want to put each other away.

Rose returned and scored 23 points after missing five straight games. He was a little rusty, going 5-9 from the line and 1-6 on shots from 3-15 feet.

Boozington played well, scoring 16 points on 7-13 shooting. Joakim Noah grabbed every rebound in sight, ultimately bringing in 16 of them (five offensive) to counteract his scoring struggle.

Josh Smith continued to shoot from long range. And he continued to miss. He was 0-9 from 16-23 feet against the Bulls. You would think at shot number seven or eight, maybe you pump fake and drive or pass. But that isn’t how J-Smoove thinks, and if it was, he wouldn’t be J-Smoove anymore.

Someone who was hitting from deep was Jannero Pargo, who was 5-8 from behind the arc (7-12 overall) and scored 19 points off the bench.

The Bucks come in after losing a close one against Orlando. Brandon Jennings scored 22 points; Ersan Ilyasova added 15 points and 15 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy scored 18 off the bench. But it wasn’t enough. Dwight Howard scored 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the win.

Back to tonight’s game, this will be the second game in a row that Joakim Noah will be facing a back-up center. Noah scored 5 points and brought down 16 rebounds against Zaza Pachulia on Monday. Pachulia was starting for the injured Al Horford, whom Noah has struggled against in his career.

Tonight Noah will luck out again with Andrew Bogut still sidelined with a broken ankle. Noah will probably go up against the frontcourt of Ilyasova and Jon Leuer, who have started the last three games for Milwaukee. In those games Ilyasova is averaging 19.3 points and 16.7 rebounds, while Leuer is averaging 5.3 points and 1.7 rebounds (Leuer is only averaging 14.7 minutes though).

Leuer did play well against the Bulls the first time these two teams met, scoring 19 points on 9-11 shooting. He only scored four points (2-6 shooting) in the second game.

Noah is averaging 14.5 points and 12.5 rebounds (5.5 offensive) against the Bucks this season. Milwaukee was without Bogut for both games.

In this last game before the break, it would be nice to get the win. But it would be even nicer that everyone stay healthy…unless we’re talking about Rip Hamilton, because it would be nice just to see him on the court again.

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