Bucks vs. Bobcats Preview | Bucks carry ten-game losing streak into Black Friday matchup

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping ten straight games, all of the Black Friday win-buying puns and figures of speech are in play for the desperate Milwaukee Bucks.

2013/2014 NBA Season
Mil_medium
(2-12, 1-6 road)
vs.
(7-9, 3-6 home)
November 29, 2013
Time Warner Cable Arena | Charlotte, NC
6:00 CT
FS Wisconsin  | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Brandon Knight PG Kemba Walker
O.J. Mayo SG Gerald Henderson
Khris Middleton SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (?)
Ersan Ilyasova PF Josh McRoberts
Zaza Pachulia C Al Jefferson
2013/14 Advanced Stats
92.1 (26th) Pace 91.4 (28th)
96.2 (29th) ORtg 96.7 (28th)
107.3 (28th) DRtg 101.0 (5th)

On the BobcatsRufus on FireQueen City HoopsBobcats Baseline

Bobcats UpdateAfter trouncing the Bucks 96-72 last Saturday, the Bobcats sat at 7-7 and had a chance to go over .500 15 games into a season for the first time in franchise history. Facing the disjointed Boston Celtics at home, the opportunity was there for the taking, but Charlotte's familiar scoring troubles flared up in a 96-86 loss. Two days later the Indiana Pacers came to town to kick the Cats while they were down, ripping Charlotte 99-74.

It's been a bit of an odd season for the Bobcats so far. After years of languishing near the bottom of the league in nearly every category, the Bobcat's have put together one of the NBA's best defenses this season under new coach Steve Clifford. They've got negative (good!) on/off-court defensive rating splits from many of their key players, according to NBA.com/Stats, including Kemba Walker (-6.7), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (-9.8), and, surprisingly, Al Jefferson (-6.4). Bucks fans might be familiar with that all-defense-no-offense style--back in 2010-2011, the Bucks ranked 4th in defensive rating but dead last in offensive rating. It's not particularly fun to watch, but it represents clear progress for a Bobcats squad making its first real push for NBA relevancy.

Unfortunately for Charlotte, they're still struggling with consistency, and boast a particularly strange home-road trend. Charlotte is 4-3 away from the TWC Arena and just 3-6 at home, and it's the defense that has failed them in front of their own fans. The Bobcats give up seven more points per game at home while forcing fewer turnovers and allowing opponents to shoot a higher percentage from everywhere on the floor. Schedule disparity surely plays a role, but it's a trend coach Clifford is surely trying to remedy in the young season.

Injury Update. The Bucks, it seems, are finally getting sort of healthy. Brandon Knight and Ersan Ilyasova both played more than 30 minutes in Wednesday's OT loss to the Wizards, and every other player except the rookies and Miroslav Raduljica saw the court. Knight, Ekpe Udoh, and Nate Wolters appear on the injury report as day-to-day but should all be available, with Knight expected to start.

The Bobcats have a more daunting issue facing them, as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is reportedly struggling with plantar fasciitis and is "highly-questionable" for tonight's game. Plantar fasciitis is the worst, one of those injuries that lingers all season long and saps players of their mobility because of sheer pain. If Kidd-Gilchrist is out, Jeff Adrien would likely take his place in the starting lineup.

Shopping for wins. If Larry Drew could stand in line in the cold for hours for even a mildly-discounted win right now, he'd probably do it. The Bucks are DESPERATE for a victory, and nobody is feeling the heat more than Drew. On Drew's shopping list?

  • Careful ball control, since the Bucks haven't won a game in which they've turned the ball over more than 14 times.
  • Three point shots, since they're pretty much the only way the Bucks can score and they never seem to attempt enough.
  • Defensive rebounds, since the Bucks are desperate for transition opportunities and can really only afford to defend one shot per possession.
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