Bucks vs. Cavaliers preview: Looking for a fourth straight win

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Milwaukee Bucks enter tonight's game hobbling and streaking all at once, boasting three straight wins by double digit margins. The Cleveland Cavaliers present a good opportunity to make it four in a row for the first time this season.

2012/2013 NBA Season
Mil_medium
(11-9, 5-5 away)
vs.
Cle
(5-18, 3-6 home)
December 14, 2012
Quicken Loans Arena | Cleveland, OH
6:30 CT
FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Brandon Jennings PG Kyrie Irving
Monta Ellis SG CJ Miles
Marquis Daniels SF Alonzo Gee
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute PF Tristan Thompson
Larry Sanders C Anderson Varejao
2012/13 Advanced Stats
93.6 (5th) Pace 91.9 (17th)
103.0 (20th) ORtg 101.4 (26th)
103.3 (10th) DRtg 107.9 (26th)

On the Cavaliers: Fear the Sword | Waiting for Next Year | Cavs the Blog

Talent vs. depth. Milwaukee has a deeper pool of talent, but Cleveland has the two best players, in Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving. Varejao dropped 20 points (10-13 fg) and hauled in 17 rebounds the last time these teams met, while Irving gave the Bucks fits inside (5-8 at the rim) on his way to 27 points and 7 assists, five of which went to Varejao. The Cavs killed the Bucks in transition (22 points, 8-8 fg), and Milwaukee pretty much road Mike Dunleavy's six threes and 29 points to an unnecessarily squeaky 105-102 win in November. With all that said, Alonzo Gee is playing 33 minutes nightly.

Block party. Even with a depleted collection of Tube Men, the Bucks racked up six blocks against the Sacramento Kings. Cleveland enters this game as the most blocked team in the league (7 blocks against per game), while the moniker used in the previous sentence tells you everything you need to know about Milwaukee's predilection towards the most crowd-pleasing defensive play in basketball. I fully expect the Bucks' Tube Men to play with the Cavaliers' shots like a killer whale toying with a seal before devouring it.

You only live twice. The Cavs boast the league's second best offensive rebounding rate (32.16), but they've taken the second most shots in the league (the Bucks lead the league in attempts). They're also excellent at taking advantage of that second life and preventing opponents from doing so, ranking first in second chance points per game and limiting opponent scoring on second possessions. The Kobe Assist is certainly nice, but probably not sustainable. Also, Alonzo Gee is playing 33 minutes nightly. Mark it nine straight against Cleveland, Dude.

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