Nets vs. Bucks Preview: Playoff Hopes Flickering Faintly In Milwaukee

2011/2012 NBA Season

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vs.

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29-33 (15-15 home) 22-41 (13-18 home)
April 21, 2012
Bradley Center
7:30 PM CT
Radio: 1250 WSSP TV: FSN Wisconsin ALTERNATE
Probable starters:
Brandon Jennings PG Sundiata Gaines
Monta Ellis SG MarShon Brooks
Carlos Delfino SF Gerald Wallace
Ersan Ilyasova* PF Kris Humphries
Drew Gooden C Jordan Williams

(10th) 106.4 - OFFENSE - 103.6 (22nd)
(18th) 106.0 - DEFENSE - 109.4 (28th)
(3rd) 93.5 - PACE - 90.1 (22nd)

On the Nets: NetsDaily / Nets Are Scorching / NJ.com

Three straight losses have put the playoffs all but out of reach for the Bucks, but they'll still be alive tomorrowunless they manage to lose to the tanking Nets and Philadelphia wins in Indiana. Feeling optimistic? Maybe not, but basically it breaks down like this: the Bucks essentially have to win out and hope that the Sixers lose at least one of their remaining easier games (@Det, @NJ) in addition to tonight's game with the Pacers and next Wednesday's all-important.

D-Will out. Deron Wiliams (sore calf) will not play tonight while Shelden Williams is questionable. Not that the Nets will mind--thanks to the Gerald Wallace trade, they will lose their lottery pick unless they find their way into the top three. No word yet on whether Ersan Ilyasova will return from a bruised thigh.

When keeping it real goes wrong. The typically docile Larry Sanders once again let his emotions get the best of him in Indiana, though you can understand his frustration to some extent after seeing Danny Granger's moving screen/Flop of the Night. Either way, Sanders' outburst will cost him two games starting tonight. While Sanders won't be confused for having a high basketball IQ anytime soon, don't overlook the major strides he's made as a sophomore. While much has been made of Ekpe Udoh's non-traditional metrics, Sanders has the best adjusted plus/minus on the team (+8.90) and the Bucks' defense allows a whopping 12 points/100 possessions less with Sanders on the court. While his offensive productivity is still rather miserable (47% true shooting and 57% finishing at the rim, the same as Brandon Jennings), he's bumped his rebounding to a respectable rate (14.6%) and the Bucks have been a better team with him on the court. And that counts for something, right?

Road...warriors? The Nets actually have a better road record than the Knicks (12-19) and are just a half game worse than the Bucks (14-18), but it's their miserable home record (9-23) that has left them 10.5 games out of the final playoff spot.

Defenseless. The Bucks have allowed an average of 110 points per game over the last six after conceding just over 93 in their prior six. Fast pace or not, that's bad news and the main reason for the Bucks' slide into lotto land.

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