Game Thread: Bucks/Nuggets

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Bucks (5-6, 3-3 road) @ Nuggets (6-4, 3-1 home)

Gametime: 8:00 p.m. central time (FSN-W)

Bucks Position Nuggets
Luke Ridnour
PG Chauncey Billups
Charlie Bell SG Dahntay Jones
Richard Jefferson SF Carmelo Anthony
Luc Mbah a Moute PF Kenyon Martin
Andrew Bogut C Nene Hilario

 

 

 

 

 

 

Injuries:

Bucks: Michael Redd (ankle) has missed seven straight games. Charlie Villanueva (hamstring) has missed two in a row.

Nuggets: Steven Hunter (knee), Chris Andersen (rib), and Chucky Atkins (knee) are out.

07/08 Series:

Dec. 26: @Nuggets 125 Bucks 105

Feb 23: @Bucks 115 Nuggets 109

08/09 Advanced Stats:

Bucks: Offense: 24th (102.5 points/100 possessions) Defense: 10th (103.7) Pace: 4th (95.3)

Nuggets: Offense: 25th (102.2 points/100 possessions) Defense: 6th (100.7)  Pace: 22nd (90.0)

Three points:

  • Hilario no laughing matter. Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony will lead the headlines, but Nene Hilario leads the NBA in field goal percentage, at 64.1 %. The Brazilian is posting career highs in points (14.7), rebounds (7.3), free-throw percentage (.744), field goal percentage (.641) and blocks (1.8). Like Bogut last year, Hilario's big jump comes in shot-blocking, doubling last year's 0.9 average. He's also historically performed well against Milwaukee, with averages of 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds on 69.8 % from the field in eight career games against the Bucks.

  • Billups living up to billing. In dealing away Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups, the Nuggets figured to have a more steady, classic starting point guard. And Denver is firing on all cylinders, 5-1, since the blockbuster trade. Some of Billups' numbers suggest he has taken on some of Iverson's aggressiveness on both sides of the ball, too. Since suiting up with the Nuggets on Nov. 7, Billups is averaging 19.5 points, 7.2 free throw attempts, and 1.8 steals per game. Those stats are the best he's ever posted. The Nuggets' fast pace only accounts for so much of the increases. In Denver, Billups has a better individual pure scorer, Carmelo Anthony, than he had in Detroit. But the Nuggets certainly lack the all-around offensive depth of Detroit, meaning the point guard is likely to continue to assume greater scoring responsibilities. In any event, Ramon Sessions and Luke Ridnour will have their hands full on both sides of the ball tonight.

  • A fine line. Three Bucks rank in the top 50 in the NBA in free throws made. Richard Jefferson (16th, 50 ftm) is probably the obvious one. The other two? Ramon Sessions (42nd, 36 ftm) and Luc Mbah a Moute (45th, 35 ftm). That aggressiveness you perceive from them? It's lovely reality.

Coverage:

Pickaxe and Roll / The Nugg Doctor

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