Bucks (13-20, 4-15 road, 12th East) @ Sixers (14-20, 7-9 home, 10th East)
Bucks Stats: Offense 20th (100.6 pts/100 poss), Defense 28th (107.0), Rebounding 12th (.508 rr), Pace 22nd (93.2)
Sixers Stats: Offense 24th (99.2 pts/100 poss), Defense 11th (102.0), Rebounding 2nd (.512 rr), Pace 20th (93.5)
Bucks Injuries: Michael Redd has missed two straight games due to a thig bruise and is listed as day-to-day. Desmond Mason is out 6-8 weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb. David Noel has been out with a wrist injury. Jake Voskuhl has missed two straight games with a right hip strain and is listed as day-to-day.
Sixers Injuries: None really.
- If the Bucks helped start the Bobcats' downfall a couple weeks ago and pushed them further down on Sunday, then the Sixers are similarly responsible for deflating the Bucks' season. Before the Sixers came to the Bradley Center on Nov. 27, the Bucks were flying high, winners of five in a row, the last three coming against the Cavaliers, Lakers, and Mavericks. The Sixers not only left the Bradley Center with a win, they left behind a Bucks team whose confidence was sucked out of them, and who have yet to recover. The Bucks won seven times in eleven tries before the Sixers came to town. They have won six times in 22 tries since then.
- For the second game in a row, the Bucks face a team within half a game of them in the standings. On Sunday, they entered the contest half a game ahead of the Bobcats. They currently trail the Sixers by half a game. These are games the Bucks must win if they hope stay within playoff striking distance. The Bucks are 12th in the East, but with a win and Bulls loss tonight, they would leap into 10th. Then again, the Bulls are playing the Knicks tonight, so the outlook is not so good.
- The Sixers are coming off a 109-96 loss to the Nuggets and old pal, Allen Iverson, who chipped in 38 points. You might think the Bucks are catching the Sixers, losers of four of their last five, at the right time. Don't be so sure. The Sixers had lost seven of eight before rocking the Bucks in the team's first matchup of the year.
- Three of the last four years, the Bucks have won their 14th game of the year on a certain day of the week. Which day, you ask? Tuesday. You know, like today. Each of the last two years they did it against the Spurs, and four years ago they beat the Pistons. In case you are wondering, the Bucks don't play on a Tuesday again after tonight until Jan. 22, against the Suns. Let's take care of business tonight, team.
- Andrew Bogut, Australian scoring machine, more than doubled his season average with 25 points on Sunday against the Bobcats, finishing second to Charlie Bell's 27. Bogut has led the Bucks in scoring on five occasions in his career, and just once this year. Samuel Dalembert made life difficult for Bogut the first time around, so it will be interesting to see if Bogut can maintain his mojo. Bogut shot 2-7 for six points in the first matchup. On the defensive side, Bogut has only blocked one shot in the last four games, but is still ranked 16th in the NBA, averaging 1.73 per game. It's too bad he isn't the monster he was in November, when he averaged 2.5 blocks. After his first couple seasons though, we can't really complain, since he's averaging more blocks than Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Tyson Chandler this season.
- With so many teams sinking the Bucks with three-pointers, here's a refreshing note: the Sixers don't shoot from outside very well. In fact, they rank right behind the Bucks at 26th in the NBA, making 33.3 % from downtown. The Bucks also won't have to worry about Kyle Korver, who hit 4-5 from outside against the Bucks in the first meeting. Korver was traded to the Jazz for Gordan Giricek on Dec. 29. Somewhat oddly, the Sixers have shot a respectable 37.7 % from outside since the trade.
- Sixers guard Louis Williams went from Naismith Award winner as the nation's top high school player and Georgia's two-time Mr. Basketball, straight to the pro's... But as a second round pick, the 45th overall selection in the 2005 draft. We often hear about high school-to-NBA failures, and how immature and underdeveloped their games are, which of course in select cases is true, but somewhere along the line the it became an overblown, lazy stereotype. Williams' story flips the script, as he's turned out to be one of the steals from 2005. Warriors guard and fellow high school-to-pro Monta Ellis was also highly undervalued, as the 40th pick in the same draft. Even without all the college success and seasoning of guards' Salim Stoudamire and Daniel Ewing, chosen 31st and 32nd respectively, they've had better NBA careers. Williams is averaging 15.7 points and 4.2 assists in his last four games. He's also one of the entertaining players to watch.
- Check out Sixers 4 Guidos for more on tonight's opponent.