Bucks/Pacers: Milwaukee aims for first road win of season

2010/2011 NBA Season

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vs.
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1-4 (0-2 road) 2-2 (1-0 home)
November 5, 2010
Conseco Fieldhouse
6:00 PM
Radio: 620 WTMJ TV: No local
Probable starters:
Brandon Jennings
PG
Darren Collison
John Salmons
SG Mike Dunleavy
Carlos Delfino SF Danny Granger
Drew Gooden
PF Josh McRoberts
Andrew Bogut
C Roy Hibbert

(27th) 98.3 - OFFENSE -  101.6 (23rd)
(8th) 103.0 - DEFENSE - 107.6 (19th)
(28th) 90.1  - PACE -  95.3 (14th)

On the Pacers: Indy CornrowsEight Points Nine Seconds / Indy Star

Blocked.
The Pacers and Bucks are getting their shots blocked a lot this season: Indiana is getting blocked on 9.25 % of its shots, second worst in the NBA, while Milwaukee has been blocked on 7.63 % of its shots, fourth worst overall. And early on this year, getting blocked has made bad offense even worse for these two teams, who struggle to make shots even when said shots make it to the hoop.

Indy update.
The Pacers are 2-2 so far, having sandwiched wins over Philly and Charlotte between blowout losses to the Spurs on opening night and in Philly on Wednesday. Danny Granger is still the obvious danger man for the Pacers, trucking along at 22 ppg on .444/.429/.750 shooting, so Carlos Delfino, Luc Mbah a Moute and Corey Maggette figure to have their hands full keeping tabs on the former New Mexico star. Let's hope they do better than they did against Paul Pierce, who seemed to lose his man about a half dozen times around the hoop on Wednesday. 

Two other guys worth highlighting: Roy Hibbert (16.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.8 bpg) and Darren Collison (13.0 ppg, 5 apg, .365/.286/.923). The latter looked like a steal when the Pacers acquired him from New Orleans this summer, but the gaudy numbers he posted down the stretch in the Big Easy haven't appeared yet in Indy. I'm not sure if he's quite star material, but he's definitely better than he's shown thus far--as Brandon Jennings and the Bucks saw in both games against him a year ago (20 ppg/8.5 rpg).

Meanwhile, the departure of Troy Murphy and the absence of Jeff Foster (ankle) have meant extended minutes for Hibbert, who's apparently in much better shape than previously. He started strong with 28 points on 17 shots in the opening night loss in San Antonio, but has come back down to earth a bit with 12/33 shooting in the four games since. Still, getting 2.8 bpg and 4.3 apg from a 7'2" guy is nothing to scoff at. Normally a solid mid-range shooter (40-41% the past two years), Hibbert has struggled in that department this season (1/6) but has made up for it with excellent finishing around the hoop (71.5% vs. 59% last year).

Bogut picks quantity and quality against Pacers.
Andrew Bogut has played no team more than his 16 games against the Pacers, and the center tends to fair well in Indy. Last December, Bogut blew up for a career-high 31 points in an admittedly ugly 84-81 win at Conseco. As noted in my recap of that game, Bogut had scored 20+ points 37 times in his career before that night, but had never reached 30. Since then, he dropped 30 again once more, establishing his new career high of 32 in a heartbreaking 108-107 loss to Dallas in January.

Point is, the Bucks don't need (shouldn't need) 'Drew to drop 30 to win, but someone needs to start scoring points, which leads me to my next point...

Points.
Carlos Delfino's 15.8 points per game average leads the Bucks, and it also makes him the lowest-scoring team-leading scorer in the NBA.

That last bit isn't necessarily a problem in itself, but the Bucks of Milwaukee are perhaps not coincidentally 29th in points per game in the NBA, at 90.4, needing overtime on Wedensday to push them ahead of the Bobcats. And while Milwaukee has really slowed it down this season (28th in pace), even when adjusting for pace they are 27th in offensive efficiency.

Pace-ers. Indiana has ranked top three in the NBA in pace in each of the past three seasons, but is just 14th so far this year.

NBA Playbook: The upside of loss in Boston.
Well, here is one way to score. Sebastian Pruiti has a nice breakdown of the Bucks' tying bucket late in regulation against the Celtics.  

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