Welcome to our first game thread of the 07/08 season! Here's hopefully everything you need to get ready for tonight's game. Ben at our Magic sister site Third Quarter Collapse also has his preview up.
Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Yi Jianlian / Andrew Bogut
Magic Lineup: Jameer Nelson / Keith Bogans / Hedo Turkoglu / Rashard Lewis / Dwight Howard
Bucks Injuries: Bogut will be in the starting lineup despite spraining his wrist 8 days ago in Denver. Awvee Storey missed the last week of the preseason with a hip injury, but likely wouldn't be active even if he was healthy. Noel and Sessions should be the other inactive spots.
Magic Injuries: Tony Battie is out for the year. J.J. Redick is day-to-day with a right-hand contusion.
06/07 Series: Magic 3, Bucks 1. The Magic absolutely annihilated the Bucks in their three wins, with Hedo Turkoglu scoring 21 ppg on 57% shooting in the season series.
- While Dwight Howard is the big name in Orlando and will give Bogut everything he can handle, the forward spots will probably the keys to the game. Gery Woelfel reports Desmond Mason will be guarding Rashard Lewis, the Magic's $100 million free agent, who was Mason's teammate back in their Seattle days. That leaves Yi to guard Hedo Turkoglu, who played his best ball against the Bucks last year, going off for 21 ppg in the four game series.
- For the Bucks to win they probably need to win the battle of the benches, where they should have the edge with Charlie Villanueva, Bobby Simmons, and Charlie Bell. I'll definitely be curious to see who ends up finishing the game--Yi and Mason or their backups.
- Keith Bogans will start at the 2 with the job of slowing down Mike Redd, while Jameer Nelson will duel Mo Williams at the PG spot. Nelson today signed a five year extension, so it should be interesting watching this matchup, as both guys are young points who have recently gotten big contracts in spite of lingering questions about their PG skills.
- The offense was very sloppy for the Bucks in the preseason, so keep an eye on whether Redd takes matters into his own hands early. The talk has been about him sharing the ball more, but for that to work the other guys have to step up, too. That starts with Bogut, who may have a hard time against Howard, especially given his trusted left hand isn't 100%.
- Woelfel also had an interesting quote from LK regarding Yi:
"As weird as this may sound, there may be less pressure on him to start than coming off the bench and try and do something spectacular.’’