Suited to scout. (photo via www.nba.com)
Bucks (0-0) @ Bulls (0-0)
Gametime: 7:30 p.m. central time
Bucks: Luke Ridnour / Michael Redd / Richard Jefferson / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut
Bulls: Derrick Rose / Thabo Sefolosha / Luol Deng / Tyrus Thomas / Drew Gooden
Bucks: Luke Ridnour is questionable because of a sore back; Ramon Sessions could take his place. The Bucks' PFs are healthy but Scott Skiles is staying mum on the possibility of starting Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and bringing Charlie Villanueva off the bench.
Bulls: Larry Hughes is out with a dislocated shoulder.
Nov. 3: Bucks 78 Bulls 72
Dec. 28: Bulls 103 Bucks 99
March 29: Bulls 114 Bucks 111
April 14: Bulls 151 Bucks 135
07/08 Advanced Stats:
Bucks: Offense 21st (105.3 points/100 possessions) Defense: 30th (112.8) Pace: 17th (91.3)
Bulls: Offense 26th (103.9 points/100 possessions) Defense: 14th (107.2) Pace: 11th (103.9)
- Michael Redd and Ben Gordon, eternally linked guards after combining for 100 points (Redd 52 + Gordon 48) in 53 minutes of basketball, are still playing for Milwaukee and Chicago, respectively. A hefty bulk of each fanbase assumed the shooting guards would find new addresses, but here they are, once again focal points of the only NBA franchise's they've known. Last season, both Redd (7th) and Gordon (5th) were top ten scorers per minute in the clutch, defined by 82games as "4th quarter or overtime, less than minutes left, neither team ahead by more than five points." Unlike fellow late-game heroes LeBron James and Manu Ginobili however, Redd (39.5 %) and Gordon (37.7%) didn't convert field goals at a pretty rate in the clutch. Nonetheless, they are good bets to have the ball at the end of a close game.
- First overall pick Derrick Rose, full of promise and youth, typifies the Bulls. At 27, Drew Gooden is the team's eldest starter, and Chicago has only one player out of his twenties on the entire roster: not very old friend Michael Ruffin, who checks in at 31. The Bulls are not only young, but deep. They're probably the only NBA team with a second unit (Kirk Hinrich/Ben Gordon/Andres Nocioni/Joakim Noah/Aaron Gray) as good as their starting lineup. Rose tweaked his hip and hamstring when the Bucks and Bulls met on Friday, but practiced yesterday and is expected to start. Still, his injury apparently incited a bit of tension between Richard Jefferson and Andres Nocioni, though Jefferson's involvement in Rose's injury was minimal. It's just business as usual for the Bucks and Bulls--don't forget that Royal Ivey gave Aaron Gray a nutshot in the team's final meeting last year, a move that earned him a three game suspension.
- Scott Skiles should have a thorough scouting report on Chicago, whom he coached for 4+ seasons before his firing after 25 games (and just nine wins) last year. While the Bulls feature new players, such as Rose, they return plenty of faces familiar to Skiles, including Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Andres Nocioni, Tyrus Thomas, and the ever-satisfied Gordon. Meanwhile, Vinny Del Negro, former Buck, opposes Skiles on the sidelines. Nobody can agree on who should start for Chicago, so we'll see how Vinny's first lineup works. From the little-known facts vault: Per 36 minutes in their careers, Skiles and Del Negro both averaged 11.3 field goal attempts and 1.1 steals.