Bucks/Sixers: Preview

Bucks (18-28, 5-21 road, 12th East) @ Sixers (17-28, 8-13 home, 13th East)

Gametime: 6:00 pm CT
TV: FSN Wisconsin/League Pass/NBA Broadband
Radio: 620 WTMJ/Stream Free @ NBA.com

Bucks Stats: Offense 19th (101.4 pts/100 poss), Defense 27th (107.8), Rebounding 14th (.504 rr), Pace 21st (92.9)
Sixers Stats: Offense 24th (99.7 pts/100 poss), Defense 18th (103.8), Rebounding 4th (.518 rr), Pace 22nd (92.9)

Bucks Lineup: Royal Ivey / Mo Williams / Bobby Simmons / Yi Jianlian / Andrew Bogut
Sixers Lineup: Andre Miller / Willie Green / Andre Iguodala / Thaddeus Young / Samuel Dalembert

Bucks Injuries: Michael Redd is out with a left knee strain. Desmond Mason is out with a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Sixers Injuries: None really.

07/08 Series: 1-1. The Bucks lost to the Sixers 114-99 on Nov. 27, 2007 at the Bradley Center (my recap / Frank's recap). The Bucks beat the Sixers 87-83 on Jan. 8, 2008 in Philadelphia (Frank's recap).

Key Points:

  • The Sixers have only won three times in fourteen tries going into their final January game tonight. This follows their impressive nine-win December. To the Sixers credit, they are coming off a 103-96 win over the Bobcats on Saturday. Andre Iguodala had 33 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.  
  • The Bucks are coming off an 87-80 loss to the Nets (BrewHoop recap). From the Nets' perspective, a loss would have been disastrous. Having lost nine in a row, they were due for a win, especially against the road-weary Bucks missing top player, Michael Redd. Still, it stung for the Bucks to lose to a club in such disarray that also happens to hold the final playoff spot. How will the Bucks respond tonight against the Sixers? Much anticipation surrounds Saturday's showdown against the Rockets, due to the apparent returns of Redd and Mason, as well as the Yi/Yao matchup. Hopefully the Bucks will return to Milwaukee with some momentum, but the Sixers have played them well, and the road is always rough, so a win will require a strong performance and no looking ahead.  
  • Nine-year veteran Andre Miller is having another strong season. For the eighth consecutive year, he's averaging at least 13.0 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.0 steal. He's also shooting a career high 48.1 % from the field. Interestingly, at 31, Miller shows no signs of conquering long-range shooting. In fact, he has yet to make a three pointer in this month. Miller played full-time in November without making a three, so there is a precedent for this. There is something to be said for knowing one's limitations, though. Miller has attempted only three shots from beyond the arc this month, and is 2-16 from downtown this season.
  • The Bucks are 18-28. The Bucks were also 18-28 last season.
  • After averaging 3.6 points in 8.3 minutes in October, rookie forward Thaddeus Young is finding the court much more often this month, averaging 7.8 points in 20.4 minutes. Young started for the first time on Saturday against the Bobcats. Here's how Ricky from Sixers 4 Guidos described his first starting performance:

    This is the best news of the night to me. "Young vet" didn’t have a spectacular game, but he did make a solid contribution after a slow start. Props to Mo for the move (or, if you want to be evil, blame Mo for waiting 44 games before realizing that Evans simply can’t be a starter in this league).

  • Samuel Dalembert is averaging 19.0 points against the Bucks this season, his best scoring output against team. He's also averaging 12.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in the first two matchups this season
  • Last night, the Bucks battled in New Jersey against the Nets, a team with a better road than home record. Tonight, the Bucks play the Sixers, a team playing similarly at home (8-13) as on the road (9-15).
  • Check out Sixers 4 Guidos for more on tonight's opponent.
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