Suns/Bucks: No Andrew Bogut as Suns visit Milwaukee for first time since "the fall"

2010/2011 NBA Season

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vs. G9agfgof0kzui4u445wrsj3e5_medium_medium
23-36 (15-14 home) vs. 31-28 (14-15 road)
March 4, 2011
Bradley Center
7:30 PM
Radio: 620 WTMJ TV: FSN Wisconsin
Probable starters:
Brandon Jennings PG Steve Nash
John Salmons SG Vince Carter
Carlos Delfino SF Grant Hill
Jon Brockman 
PF Channing Frye
Larry Sanders C Robin Lopez

(30th) 101.1 - OFFENSE -  110.0 (7th)
(5th) 102.7 - DEFENSE - 110.1 (25th)
(25th) 89.9  - PACE -  94.3 (7th)

On the SunsBright Side of the Sun / AZ Central / Valley of the Suns

Clinging to their dimming playoff hopes, the Bucks look to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month when Steve Nash and the Suns make their annual visit to Milwaukee.

JS: Bucks still want front-line attack
The last time the Suns visited Milwaukee it was a dark day, and unfortunately Andrew Bogut hasn't been the same since. This time around Bogut will miss out entirely due to his ribcage strain, which will again place added pressure on Larry Sanders and Jon Brockman to keep things respectable against Marcin Gortat, Channing Frye, and Robin Lopez. Thankfully the bucks are also expected to get Luc Mbah a Moute back after missing Tuesday's game with the flu.

"I think my shot is so much better with all the work I've put in," Mbah a Moute said. "Now it's just a matter of shooting the ball with a lot of confidence.

"I said before it's not going to happen overnight but you can slowly see it happening already.

"And I think that's pretty good for me in terms of my career. I'm going to continue to get better at it to become a better player."

Mbah a Moute is indeed shooting better, though no one is going to confuse him with Ray Allen anytime soon--he's hitting 38% of long twos after making just 28% last season and 31% as a rookie.

Stand tall, play small? The Suns will have a decided size advantage with Andrew Bogut, Ersan Ilyasova and Drew Gooden (reminder: still a Buck) on the shelf, but there's no guarantee they will take advantage of it. As much as he's touted as an energetic, paint-oriented big man, Robin Lopez is only a marginally better rebounder than his brother (12.4% rebound rate) and has only played more than 25 minutes once in the past eight games. Meanwhile, fellow starter Channing Frye is a perimeter big who attempts more than half his shots (5.5 out of 10.5 fga/g) from three point range, with unsurprisingly poor rebounding numbers to match (11.6% rebound rate).

The guy who scares me most is Marcin Gortat, who was last seen at the BC getting utterly dominated by Bogut as a member of the Magic. But it was a decidedly different story when the Bucks visited Phoenix without Bogut on February 2, as Gortat took advantage of Nash's brilliant passing and a lack of resistance down low to score 19 points and grab 11 boards in the Suns' 23rd consecutive win over the Bucks in Arizona. That trend has continued of late, as the Polish Hammer has recorded double-doubles in three of his last four contests.

JS: CDR vows not to sulk over benching
Alex asked Scott Skiles about Chris Douglas-Roberts' benching earlier this week, and today Charles Gardner provided CDR's perspective on Skiles' decision to cut the former Memphis star out of the rotation.

"It's a numbers game. You have guys that have to get going. As a young player and when you make (in salary) what I make, you're not going to have the opportunity to have a couple bad games. You're just not.

"I know that and understand that so that's why I'm going to continue to be positive. This is only my third year (in the NBA). I refuse to let anything break me."

Paint it black. The Bucks rank dead last in the NBA in points in the point (35 ppg), while the Suns are middle of the pack at 41 ppg.

Air Canada. Vince Carter has cracked 30 minutes just twice in the past 10 games, scoring in double figures just three times in that span.

Brooks the backup.Recent acquisition Aaron Brooks made his first real impact in Boston on Wednesday, scoring 17 points on 6/7 shooting along with seven dimes.

Streaking. The Bucks' home win 11 months ago is their only win in the last eight tries against Phoenix. 

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