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Game Thread:Â Cavs/Bucks

Redd and the Bucks wouldn't mind a repeat of this

Cavs (13-3, 4-3 road) @ Bucks (7-11, 3-3 home)

Gametime: 8:00 p.m. central time (FSN-W)

Bucks Position Cavs
Luke Ridnour PG Mo Williams
Charlie Bell SG Delonte West
Richard Jefferson SF LeBron James
Luc Mbah a Moute PF Ben Wallace
Dan Gadzuric
C Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Injuries:

Bucks: Andrew Bogut (knee) is out. Charlie Villanueva (hamstring) is day-to-day. Michael Redd (sprained ankle) is listed as probable.

Cavs: Eric Snow is theoretically still on the team but out with a knee injury.

08/09 Series:

Nov 11: @Cavs 99, Bucks 93

08/09 Advanced Stats:

Cavs: Offense: 1st (115.4 points/100 possessions) Defense: 8th (103.4) Pace: 25th (90.1)

Bucks: Offense: 25th (102.4 points/100 possessions) Defense: 10th (104.4) Pace: 16th (91.7)

Three points:

  • Redd returns? Scott Skiles described Michael Redd as "probable" before yesterday's game in Motown, opening the door for Redd to return four weeks and 14 games after sustaining a high ankle sprain in New York. Without him the Bucks have slumped to 25th in the NBA in scoring and gone 5-9, though their defensive effort has at least kept them competitive.

  • Mo vs. 'Mon. Mo Williams' numbers are about where they were last year, both good and bad. While his assist numbers are predictably down with LBJ handling the ball much of the time (4.7 apg vs. 6.3 apg last year), Mo's scoring proficiency (15.9 ppg, .563 TS%) is carrying him to a healthy 16.90 PER, just below the 17.23 mark he posted last year. Unfortunately for the Cavs, his defensive numbers have actually gotten worse despite playing on a much better defensive team. Opponents this far have registered well above PERs against Mo--20.6 as a point guard and 22.5 as a shooting guard--meaning that for all his productivity he's still letting his opponent outproduce him night in and night out. Last year Mo opponents had a 19.4 PER. Still, the Cavs are first in offensive efficiency and a more-than-respectable eighth in defensive efficiency, so on the whole there's not much for the Cavs to be complaining about.

    The man who has benefited most from Williams' departure is his former protege Ramon Sessions--and by most metrics he's actually been better than Williams, too. Sessions thus far has averaged 15.6 ppg, 5.7 apg and 3.8 rpg in 33 mpg, good for a team-leading 18.00 PER. He's also improved on defense, where he's conceding opponents a below-average 12.8 PER. That number surprises me a bit because Sessions still has his defensive lapses, but it's not like we have much else to go on defensively. The irony is that many Bucks fans always wished Mo could be used as a scoring combo guard off the bench, but the politics and economics of moving a $52 million point guard to the bench are obviously a bit...complicated. Fortunately, Sessions is now providing exactly what Bucks fans hoped from Williams--and for only $711,000. A secondary question is how long Skiles will be able to keep Sessions out of the starting lineup--with Redd returning there will be about 35 fewer mpg available for Sessions, Bell, Ridnour, and Lue to share. Sessions has easily been the best among that group so far, though Skiles could opt to continue starting Ridnour while using Sessions as a bench scorer who also closes out games.
  • LeBron's future. It's a weird time to be a Cavs fan. On the one hand your team has been nothing short of awesome, racing to a 13-3 start and blowing most teams out of the water. Yet all the while the media seems more interested in talking about LeBron possibly bolting for the Big Apple in 2010. Fortunately it doesn't seem to be distracting the Cavs, who have won four in a row and 12 of 13 overall. The last time the Cavs won by fewer than 11 points? When they beat the Bucks by six on November 11.

Coverage:

Fear the Sword / Bucks.com