Game Thread: Blazers/Bucks

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Roy. (via Seattle Weekly)

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vs.

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43-26 (15-20 road)
31-39 (20-15 home)
March 21, 2009 - 7:30 PM CT
Bradley Center
Radio: 620 WTMJ   TV: FS Wisconsin

Probable starters:

Steve Blake
PG Ramon Sessions
Brandon Roy
SG Luc Mbah a Moute
Travis Outlaw
SF Richard Jefferson
Channing Frye* PF Charlie Villanueva
Joel Przybilla C Francisco Elson
110.1 (3rd)
Off (21st) 103.9
105.5 (18th)
Def (13th) 104.6
89.2 (29th)
Pace (10th) 95.0
32.2 (1st)
OReb (6th) 28.6
75.0 (6th) DReb (9th) 74.1

08/09 Series:

Jan. 19: Blazers 102 Bucks 85

Injuries

Blazers: Lamarcus Aldridge (concussion) expects to play. Nicholas Batum (sprained left ankle) is questionable. Raef Lafrentz (right shoulder) and Martell Webster (stress fracture in left foot) are out.

Bucks: Michael Redd (torn ACL and MCL) and Andrew Bogut (stress fracture in lower back) are out.

Three Points

  • The joy of Roy. Portland concludes a five-game road trip tonight, on which they are 2-2 so far. They lost in Cleveland last night, but everyone does. And you can probably count on the Bucks turning the ball over more than twice, unlike the Cavs, who tied a record by committing just two turnovers against Portland. Certain Bucks fans might appreciate this:

    Cleveland, won its seventh straight and 10th in the last 11, nearly broke the record, but Mo Williams’ pass while trying to run out the clock hit the backboard and was picked up by the Trail Blazers.

    In any event, the Blazers are really tough and have already proved to be a difficult matchup for Milwaukee. They are led by Brandon Roy, who continues to make a strong case that he should be considered a top ten overall player in the league and a future Team USA Olympian. The University of Washington product has scored at least 20 points in each of Portland's 11 March games. He's also an excellent passer and is one of the game's premier 4th quarter players this season.
  • The old guards. Building on one of this week's themes, Milwaukee faces another former Buck in the starting backcourt tonight in the form of Steve Blake. Neither of the previous two guards had their finest moments: On Sunday, Ray Allen (2-11, 0-5 threes, 3 turnovers, 8 points) struggled in a loss for the Celtics, and a few days later Rafer Alston (2-6, 7 points) didn't exactly burn his former 'mates either. Beware though, because Blake is on a nice little run the past three games, averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 assists, and 3.0 rebounds on 55.1 % from the field and 50.0 % from deep. However, Blake hasn't even attempted a single free throw in that span. That's an area where Sessions can really give Milwaukee a big edge. Unfortunately, Ramon isn't getting to the line very often anymore either. Ramon has made 16 free throws in the first eight games of March after hitting (an admittedly overwhelming and ridiculous) 73 free throws in 11 February  games. 
  • Centers of attention. Speaking of former Bucks, Joel Przybilla is also back at the BC this evening. And the center returns carrying career highs in field goal percentage (63.9 %) and rebounds per game (8.6). He is one big reason that Portland is so authoritative on the glass, a fact the Bucks probably picked up on after being outrebounded 58-30 in the first matchup. In that game, Greg Oden had his finest evening as a pro, with 24 points 15 rebounds. As bad luck and bad timing would have it, Oden recently returned from injury, so Francisco Elson, Dan Gadzuric and co. will be plenty busy in the paint. Milwaukee must assert themselves early on the boards, or they risk getting embarrassed in the first quarter like on Wednesday against Dwight Howard.

Coverage

Bucks.com / Blazers Edge / Blaze of LoveRip City Project / Oregon Live / TrueHoop

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