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Bucks/Clippers: Preview

Bucks (7-8, 1-6 road, 9th East) @ Clippers (6-9, 4-5 home, 10th West)

Gametime: 9:30 PM CT
TV:  FSN Wisconsin/League Pass/NBA LP Broadband
Radio: 620 WTMJ/Stream Free @ NBA.com
Bucks Gameday

Bucks Stats: Offense 14th (102.8 pts/100 poss), Defense 28th (107.5), th (92.8), Rebounding 13th (.506 rr)
Clippers Stats: Offense 25th (97.6), Defense 16th (102.2), Pace 9th (98.0), Rebounding 23rd (.488 rr)

Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Yi Jianlian / Andrew Bogut
Clippers Lineup: Sam Cassell / Cuttino Mobley / Corey Maggette / Tim Thomas / Chris Kaman

Bucks Injuries: Mike Ruffin is out 1-3 weeks with a fractured wrist.
Clippers Injuries: Corey Maggette is a game time decision with a hamstring injury; Quinton Ross would likely take his place if he can't go. Sam Cassell has missed the last two games with a calf injury; if he sits out again expect Brevin Knight to start. Al Thornton is listed as doubtful with an ankle injury. Elton Brand is out with the torn achilles he suffered this offseason. Shaun Livingston is out with that horrific knee injury he sustained last year.

06/07 Series: Clippers 2-0. The Clips trounced the Bucks 115-96 at the Staples Center on January 24 and then squeezed out a 104-103 decision at the BC on March 21. The Bucks have lost five straight to the Clips and seven straight in LA.

Key Points:

  • How do the Bucks rebound from their second straight home blowout loss, and fourth loss in a row overall? They had a team meeting after Saturday's loss to the Pistons and had a "spirited" practice Monday. OK. Let's play some basketball, gentlemen.
  • The Clips are coming off a 101-95 loss to the Pacers at home. Chris Kaman had a monster 22 point/22 rebound game along with five blocks.
  • The silver lining from Elton Brand's injury is the huge season Kaman is putting together as the Clips' primary low post threat. Last summer Kaman signed a $50 million contract extension and then proceeded to regress in nearly every category, averaging 10.1 ppg and 7.8 rpg. But it's been a much different story so far this year, as the big man is averaging 18.7 ppg and a Dwight Howard-like 14.0 rpg and 2.7 bpg. This should be a big test for Bogut, who will have to avoid foul trouble for the Bucks to win. As an aside, you can bet Kaman will likely be exhibit A when Bogut's agent starts talking extension with the Bucks this summer. Hopefully if Bogut gets $10 mil per he'll start putting up 18/14 every night, too (and hopefully he skips the post-contract downturn).
  • This is a great time to be catching the Clips. They've lost five straight and Cassell, Maggette, and Thornton are all question marks tonight due to various injuries. Not to mention Elton Brand, who is of course rehabbing his achilles injury in the hopes or returning by February at the earliest.
  • Plenty of familiar faces will be on the Clipper bench: Mike Dunleavy, Sam Cassell, Ruben Patterson, Aaron Williams and Tim Thomas. Thomas has started in Brand's absence, averaging 14/6 in a career-high 34 mpg. Ruben has played more sparingly, and has apparently been struggling with an injured finger that is hampering his shot. Not that Rube ever had much of a shot.
  • It's no surprise the Clips get outrebounded on average given they're starting Thomas at PF. Kaman's an absolute beast on the glass, but that's about it. The Bucks were killed on second chance points against the Pistons and have seen their strong rebounding from earlier in the season disappear in the last week and change, so they will need to control the boards tonight. The Bucks haven't been shooting especially poorly of late, so if they take care of the ball, play respectable defense and rebound a bit they shouldn't be getting blown out all the time.
  • After a stretch of five straight games with 10 or more shots, Yi Jianlian has seen his minutes cut into a bit and has averaged only 6.4 fga in the last eight contests, not breaking double digit attempts in any of those games. Part of that is obviously teams becoming more aware of his abilities, but it also means the Bucks need to make a more concerted effort to keep him involved and he needs to stay aggressive looking for his shot.
  • Head over to Clips Nation and Clipper Blog for all the latest on the Clippers.