On the Pistons:
Up by five games on Detroit with just four more to play for each team, the Milwaukee Bucks enter tonight having already clinched third place in the Central Division.
JS: Bogut shut down, surgery being planned
With four games remaining and the playoffs no longer a possibility, the Bucks made the obvious decision to shut down Andrew Bogut and his troublesome elbow once and for all. Bogut's health has been an issue since training camp, so in many way it's a long time coming.
"I'll just start preparing for surgery," Bogut said. "The elbow just hasn't been good, probably the last two weeks. I've really been struggling with it and I almost didn't play against Miami.
"It's all of a sudden gotten really bad. I honestly can't feel my right arm out there; I've got no touch with it. It hurts to shoot; it hurts to pass. Right now, I'm playing probably 50%. It's a matter of getting healthy now and getting a head start on being ready for next season."
Skiles also told the media earlier today that he expects Ersan Ilyasova to make his long-awaited return from a concussion on Friday, a welcome sign even if it's too late for him to make an impact on the playoff race.
Pistoff. The most recent matchup was a happy 92-90 home win, secured by Brandon Jennings blocking Will Bynum.
But we knew this team was not good for much back in November, when the Pistons dropped the Bucks 103-89 in Motown. That made Milwaukee's fifth straight loss, and they fell to 5-10. It was early, but it was also evident that this team lacked, in so many ways. By the time these two teams matched up again in early February, the Bucks were riding a three-game losing streak, and things were about to get a lot worse.
Whereas last season was marked by positive memories, the moments that have stood out this season are the lowest of the low times. And that 89-78 home loss to Detroit was one of the worst. Andrew Bogut was all sorts of chatty after the game, commenting at length about the team not reading scouting reports and not playing smart basketball.
Detroit basketball. The Pistons just beat the Nets at home (which happens about 87.2 % of the time), before which they had lost seven of eight. Rodney Stuckey came back with 22 points and 10 dimes against the Nets after a two-game benching for insubordination.
Detroit in general and Tracy McGrady in particular distinctly did not seem to have a care in the world the last time they visited Milwaukee. Richard Hamilton, of course, was stranded on the bench for all but one game -- a game in which he beat Milwaukee, no less -- over a nearly two-month span this winter. Apparently almost everyone is saying and doing the right things as of this week, but Detroit was a different type of disaster this season. There have been small bits of boiling over this season in Milwaukee this season, and the locker room was not anything nearly as unified as last season, but at the same time, no one ever even took so much as an indirect shot at Scott Skiles this season.
No hundos. The Bucks have now held nine straight opponents under 100 points after holding Miami to 85 on Wednesday.