Bucks vs. Lakers preview: Bucks host Lakers in midst of slide

USA TODAY Sports

In dropping last night's contest in Philadelphia, the Bucks matched their worst streak of the season with four straight losses. Now they welcome the Los Angeles Lakers in a battle of 8th Seeds.

2012/2013 NBA Season
(37-36, 14-24 road)
vs.
Mil_medium
(34-36, 18-16 home)
March 28, 2013
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI
7:00 CT
FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Steve Nash PG Brandon Jennings
Kobe Bryant SG Monta Ellis
Jodie Meeks SF Marquis Daniels
Pau Gasol PF Ersan Ilyasova
Dwight Howard C Larry Sanders
2012/13 Advanced Stats
94.9 (3rd) Pace 94.5 (4th)
107.5 (9th) ORtg 103.5 (21st)
106.6 (20th) DRtg 105.2 (11th)

On the Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll | Forum Blue and Gold

Lakers Update. Los Angeles snapped its own losing streak last night, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-117 behind Kobe Bryant's 31 points and Dwight Howard's 25 point, 16 rebound double-double. But the finish in that game remains dubious thanks to an apparent missed call on Bryant as Ricky Rubio attempted a game-tying three. Since the NBA today acknowledged that a foul should have been called, reactions have been about what you'd expect. There's no guarantee the Lakers would have lost the game had Rubio been sent to the line (in fact, the odds would have still been in their favor), but considering a loss would have dropped them into a tie with Utah for the 8th spot in the Western Conference, it's easy to view this incident as kind of a big deal.

Meanwhile LA is dealing with yet another significant injury, as Metta World Peace underwent surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus. He is expected to miss at least six weeks. Bucks second-round pick Jodie Meeks has been inserted into the starting lineup as a replacement. Meeks had 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists against the Timberwolves, but shot just 2-7 from the field.

Streaks Ahead. Milwaukee's loss was hardly the most high-profile of the night on Wednesday. That honor belongs to the Miami Heat, who suffered a 101-97 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls that snapped their 27-game winning streak and marked their first loss since February 1st. But in terms of tangible effects on the NBA landscape, the Bucks' 100-92 loss was much more meaningful. Milwaukee has now dropped four straight games and must take down a somewhat-reinvigorated Lakers team to avoid their worst slide of the season. And then it's the Thunder after that.

Hollywood, Meet Drama. Early in the second half, after he committed his second shooting foul on 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday in less than 3 minutes, coach Jim Boylan sent Brandon Jennings to the bench...where he remained for the rest of the game. And Jennings was none too pleased about it:

I don't see any all-stars in this locker room so I think everybody should be held accountable, like anybody else. There's no maxed-out players in this locker room; there's no all-stars. So don't try to put me on a pedestal and just give everybody else the freedom to do whatever they want.

Let's look past the part where Jennings got benched because he was doing a pretty terrible job at preventing Holiday from doing pretty much whatever he wanted. Let's look past the part where Jennings' own offense has been mostly nonexistent over the last few games. Jennings' gripe here is wildly inconsistent with most everything he's said and done in the past other than his wild inconsistency. The guy who has talked openly about being the Face of the Franchise doesn't want to be put on a pedestal? The guy who is openly angling to be a max-level player and clearly wants to be an All-Star is now leaning on the fact that he is neither? I don't fault Jennings for wanting those things--any player would, and realistically every player should. If you're not playing with the intention of being the best possible version of yourself, you probably don't belong in the NBA. And there's an element of truth to what he says as well: maybe everybody should stop treating Jennings like a potential star who isn't holding up his end of the bargain and just accept that he's a talented player with some obvious flaws (I know, says the guy who still can't settle on one answer). But it can't keep vacillating between the two every second of every day like some sort of subatomic soap opera. Jennings wants to be treated with supreme respect and given the luxuries that come with it, but in this instance he looks like a police officer standing next to a house fire, casually telling the public "not my jurisdiction."

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