Bucks (2-3) @ Spurs (5-1)
Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams/Michael Redd/Desmond Mason/Yi Jianlian/Andrew Bogut
Spurs Lineup: Tony Parker/Michael Finley/Bruce Bowen/Tim Duncan/Fabricio Oberto
Bucks Injuries: None really.
Spurs Injuries: Brent Barry missed the last game with a sprained ankle. Bob Horry has not yet played this season due to personal reasons. Jacque Vaughn has a strained calf.
06/07 Series: The Bucks swept the world champs last year, taking the first meeting 114-107 in San Antonio during the team's December winning streak. The Bucks then beat the Spurs 101-90 in Milwaukee in Larry Krystkowiak's debut as head coach.
- For whatever reason the Bucks have played very well lately against the Spurs. Last year in San Antonio, Redd and Williams combined for 59 points, with Bogut adding 14/11 as the Bucks shot 57% from the field against the Ginobili-less Spurs. In Milwaukee Redd had 29/5/5 on 13/20 fg while Bogut added 13/12/6. The Bucks shot 54% and killed the Spurs on the glass 46-26 to snap the Spurs' 13-game winning streak.
- Both teams' last losses came against the Rockets, though the Spurs have since beaten the Heat (88-78) and Hornets (97-85). Tony Parker scored 27, Duncan had 24/12 and super-sub Ginobili had 14/10 in New Orleans on Friday. On Wednesday Ginobili had 25/7/7 against the lowly Heat in San Antonio.
- The benches will be keys for both teams. The Spurs have the best sixth man in the league in Ginobili, and they also play Francisco Elson more than their starting center Oberto. The Bucks have not gotten much out of Bobby Simmons and Charlie Villanueva lately.
- Expect Duncan to match up with Bogut on both ends. Bogut has done relatively well against Duncan in his career, including that memorable OT game-winner in Milwaukee in December 2005. Bogut has career averages of 14.8 ppg and 10.5 rpg in four games (3-1) against the Spurs.
- Yi Jianlian will likely start the game matched up with Fabricio Oberto, who probably won't be able to keep up with Yi very well outside. Elson is probably a better match up from the Spurs' perspective. Yi's confidence should be sky-high coming off his extremely impressive 19/9 performance against the Rockets on Friday. The Bucks would be smart to try to pick/roll the Spurs to death with Yi whenever Oberto is in the game. It would be quite the compliment if the Spurs decided to use Duncan on Yi. Friday was the first time we saw Yi look for the three point shot, hitting both of his attempts from deep. I'll be curious to see if he makes a concerted effort to look for that shot going forward, or if he'll continue to look for deep twos mixed with the occasional venture inside.
- It will be a battle of the dunkin' Dutchmen as Francisco Elson and Dan Gadzuric will both be coming off the bench.
- Check out Pounding the Rock for more on the Spurs.