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Grizz/Bucks: Open Thread

Grizz (2-5) @ Bucks (2-4)

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Bucks Gameday

Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams/Michael Redd/Desmond Mason/Yi Jianlian/Andrew Bogut

Grizz Lineup: Damon Stoudamire/Mike Miller/Rudy Gay/Pau Gasol/Darko Milicic

Bucks Injuries: Mike Ruffin is out 4-6 weeks with a fractured wrist.
Grizz Injuries: Pau Gasol apparently has a sore back but has been playing through it.

06/07 Series: The Bucks swept the Grizz last year, winning 100-94 at home on December 8 and then three weeks later winning 112-96 in Memphis in Mike Fratello's last game as the Grizzlies' coach.  

Key Points:

  • The Bucks were absolutely thrashed in San Antonio on Sunday so expect them to come out with some extra motivation after a couple days off to think about it. The Grizzlies meanwhile come in on the second night of a back-to-back, beating Houston at home last night 105-99. Gasol had 26/6 while Milicic scored 20 on 9/14 fg. Mike Miller chipped in 17 along with seven rebounds and six assists.
  • Rudy Gay has really stepped after a fairly anonymous rookie season to lead the Grizz in scoring (20 ppg). Darko Milicic has been solid but unspectacular (11/8), though he had a nice game last night against Yao Ming (20 pts on 9/14 fg).
  • Pau Gasol on the other hand hasn't been at his best so far (18/6), with the rumors being that he's once again unhappy in Memphis. His friend Juan Carlos Navarro has had his share of struggles adapting to the NBA so far, averaging only 5 ppg on 29% shooting.
  • Mike Miller, Team USA's "other" sharpshooter this summer, is shooting less (13 ppg) but has stepped up big time in other areas, averaging 9 rpg and 4.2 apg.
  • The frontcourt matchup should go a long way towards deciding the game's outcome. Bogut has struggled mightily on the offensive end though his defense has generally been improved. You'd expect Bogut to take on the duty of defending Gasol, though Darko is even bigger and could give Yi trouble if they look to post him up. On the other end the Grizz will likely try to use Gasol on the more perimeter-oriented Yi while Darko handles Bogut.
  • Fourth overall pick Mike Conley has not been much of a contributor so far in Memphis and currently sits behind both Stoudamire and Kyle Lowry in the PG pecking order. He didn't play at all last night but had a very nice line last weekend, scoring 10 points along with 9 assists in 23 minutes of a blowout loss to the Jazz. What would have happened had he been available at the sixth pick? The rumor all along was that the Bucks had both he and Horford ahead of Yi.  
  • Hakim Warrick had a career game last December in Milwaukee, racking up 31/13 in Pau Gasol's absence. This season he's only played 6 mpg and DNP'ed two of the last three, a far cry from last season when he averaged 13/5 while shooting 52% from the field. Given his career game came against the Bucks and he doesn't appear to have much of a future in Memphis, Warrick should be in a Bucks uni by February. I'm only half joking.  
  • For the Grizz perspective, check out the fine folks at 3 Shades of Blue and Beyond the Arc.