Raptors/Bucks: Milwaukee closes out its home schedule looking for sweep of Toronto

2010/2011 NBA Season

Mil_medium

vs. Tor_medium
33-47 (21-19 home) vs. 22-58 (6-34 road)
April 11, 2011
Bradley Center
7:00 PM
Radio: 620 WTMJ TV: FSN Wisconsin
Probable starters:
Brandon Jennings PG Jerryd Bayless
John Salmons SG DeMar DeRozan
Carlos Delfino SF James Johnson
Luc Mbah a Moute 
PF Reggie Evans
Drew Gooden 
C Ed Davis

(30th) 101.5 - OFFENSE -  106.2 (21st)
(4th) 102.6 - DEFENSE - 112.9 (30th)
(24th) 89.7  - PACE -  93.2 (10th)

On the RaptorsRaptors HQ / Raptors Republic

Two days after edging the Cavaliers behind 34 points from John Salmons and an improbable triple-double from Drew Gooden, the Bucks close out their home campaign at the Bradley Center looking for a season sweep of the banged up Toronto Raptors. Tonight could also mark the end of an era for Michael Redd, who could be playing his final home game as a Buck.

Hickory High: Milwaukee's Ruptured Expectations
I dropped the ball on linking to this a couple weeks ago when it first appeared, but if you haven't seen it already I highly recommend checking out Ian Levy's terrifically researched piece on the Bucks' offensive struggles. Obviously we've looked at this problem from many angles over the season, but Ian's piece does a great job of showing the breadth of the problem and also how it relates to Brandon Jennings' development as a pro.  A sample:

Poor shot selection has been a problem, but the Bucks also struggle to make shots from efficient locations. Their three-point shooting has regressed significantly since last year. Their shooting percentage at the rim has increased slightly, but hasn't left the atrocious range. How bad has it been? Their field goal percentage on shots at the rim is 6.5 percentage points below the league average. Only two other teams are shooting below 60% at the rim this season and the Bucks are still 1.7 percentage points lower than either of them. This is also the 4th consecutive season they have shot less than 58% at the rim. We aren't looking at a new phenomenon.

Bogut under the knife. Andrew Bogut will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his bum right elbow on Tuesday.  Read all about it.

JS: Redd's farewell to Milwaukee?
Redd will be a free agent this summer and there's already some talk about the Knicks and Heat possibly rolling the dice on the former all-star. Either way, let's hope Redd gets a long standing ovation tonight.

"I've seen it all, man," Redd said in an interview Monday morning. "Eleven years in the city. Obviously there was a love affair with the fans and myself. They've seen me grow up. They've seen me get married and seen me have kids.

"I've seen the playoff runs. It's very rare that a second-round pick sticks this long with an organization. I don't know if it's ever happened before."

Season Swiffer. The Bucks haven't managed a 4-0 sweep against any opponent this season, though they did win their series with the Nets 3-0.

#34. Having taken the first three against the Raptors so far this season, the Bucks will no doubt be favored to win their 34th of the season tonight. In practical terms, that would mean Charlotte needs to win its two remaining games and have the Bucks lose in OKC on Wednesday for the two to finish the season tied in the lottery standings (and triggering a coin flip). The Bobs play in New Jersey on Monday before finishing at home against Atlanta, so my guess is the Bucks end up at #9 in the East and #10 in the lottery order. The 8th seeded Clippers (31-50) can't catch them at this point, and Golden State will likely be #11--only if the Bucks win out and GS loses its two remaining games can the Bucks tie the W's.

The other significance of 34 wins is a more symbolic one. That's the figure Scott Skiles' bunch managed two seasons ago, and you know the Bucks are eager not to finish below that total in 2011.

Raptors hurting. Toronto dressed just nine guys while beating the Nets at home on Sunday, with 19 points from Jerryd Bayless and 18 apiece from promising rookie Ed Davis and ex-Bull James Johnson leading the way.  Andrea Bargnani (ankle), Jose Calderon (hammy), Amir Johnson (ankle), Sonny Weems (knee), and Leandro Barbosa (pinky) missed Sunday's game and most of them will likely miss out again tonight, meaning DeMar DeRozan will be the only regular starter in the lineup. If that sounds a bit fishy, remember that the Raptors will no doubt have one eye on the lotto standings that currently have them tied with the Wizards for third worst in the league.

JS: More court time is no given for Sanders
Alex reported the crux of this in his recap on Saturday, but Charles Gardner has a bit more on Larry Sanders' uphill battle for minutes.

"There's reason to be encouraged. He's been able to be focused for longer, and he's picked up things quicker. It's just a matter of staying with it and understanding how hard this really is. It's a huge summer for him.

"He has shown the ability to make a face-up shot. He has run the floor, blocked shots. There are definitely tools there to work with. He's one of those kind of blessed guys, and it's going to be totally up to him."

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