Bucks/Wizards: Preview

Bucks (25-48, 6-30 road, 13th East) @ Wizards (38-36, 17-21, 5th East)

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

Bucks Stats: Offense 21st (102.2 pts/100 poss), Defense 30th (109.4), Rebounding 15th (.505 rr), Pace 18th (93.4)
Wizards Stats: Offense 13th (105.4 pts/100 poss), Defense 23rd (106.6), Rebounding 17th (.498 rr), Pace 26th (92.1)

Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut
Wizards Lineup: Roger Mason / Deshawn Stevenson / Antawn Jamison / Andray Blatche / Brendan Haywood

Bucks Injuries: Charlie Bell is out with a right knee sprain. Jake Voskuhl is questionable with a sprained ankle.
Wizards Injuries: Caron Butler rested his strained left hamstring last night and didn't play. Antonio Daniels also did not play last night due to a left wrist sprain. Gilbert Arenas has returned to practice after missing over three months with knee surgery. Etan Thomas has been out all season with a heart ailment.

07/08 Series: Wizards 2-1. The Wizards beat the Bucks 101-77 on Jan. 4 at the Bradley Center, before the Bucks exacted some revenge with a 105-102 OT win at home. The Bucks then fell behind in the series after a 105-97 loss on March 11 in Washington D.C.

Key Points:

  • The Bucks won 119-115 in overtime against the Knicks last night at the Bradley Center. In doing so, they won half as many games in April as they did in March, when they went 2-12. We aren't ready to annoint Sessions/Redd/Bogut the NBA's top trio of the future, but the three sure looked good last night. Since consistency hasn't been a trademark of the Bucks this year, it will be interesting to see how they play a night later.
  • The Wizards meanwhile started the new month in disappointing fashion, getting rocked 129-87 by the Jazz. Granted, the Wizards were without Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antonio Daniels, and the Jazz (brace yourself for this one) actually lose at home less frequently than the Bucks win on the road. So admittedly, this was a tough draw, but losing by 42 points never feels good, and we know that because we've felt that pain.
  • Considering the pair had totalled five field goals combined in the previous ten days before last night, the Knicks probably weren't focusing much attention on Bobby Simmons and Ramon Sessions. The unlikely duo ended up starring however, with Simmons bringing the offense, and Sessions the defense.

    "His defense really impressed me tonight, against Jamal Crawford, one of the greatest one-on-one guys in the NBA, I think," Bogut said of Sessions, the second-round pick from Nevada. "He did a great job of getting into him."

  • We're less clear about what Mo Williams thinks about Ramon Sessions' minutes and success, but Tom Enlund writes that Royal Ivey is particularly proud of the young point guard. You know we are impressed with Sessions, and Ivey is too, but what do you say, coach?

    Said coach Larry Krystkowiak, "It's hard to keep Ramon off the floor right now."

  • One of the keys to the Wizards' consistency is how they've dealt with losing. Before last night, they had won six straight games following losses, dating back to a Feb. 23 win over the Cavaliers. The Wizards started the season losing five straight, and dropped eight in a row in early February, but they haven't scattered too many losses around wins for the most part.
  • Rookie Nick Young burned the Bucks with 22 points, five rebounds, and three steals in the team's last matchup. Last night, the USC kid was back at it again, going for 18 points on 5-7 from the field along with three steals off the bench.
  • After winning 42 and 41 games in the past two years respectively, the Wizards are on track to finish in that same range again this season. You can't really fault their performance as mediocre this year though, after losing their top player (Arenas) a couple weeks into the season and still finding themselves comfortably in the playoffs.
  • Bullets Forever is required Wizards reading for those interested in more on today's opponent. Also, Wizznutzz is highly recommended, and for all DC-related sports Dan Steinberg's DC Sports Bog is as good as they come.

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