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Game Thread: Suns/Bucks

Porter hops back to Milwaukee tonight.

Suns (4-2) @ Bucks (3-3)

Gametime: 7:30 p.m. central time (FSN-W)

Lineups:

Bucks: Luke Ridnour / Charlie Bell / Richard Jefferson / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut

Suns: Steve Nash / Raja Bell / Matt Barnes / Amare Stoudemire / Shaquille O'Neal

Injuries:

Bucks: Michael Redd (ankle) has missed two straight games and is day-to-day.

Suns: Alando Tucker (knee) is out.

07/08 Series:

Jan. 12: @Suns 122 Bucks 144

Jan. 22: Suns 114 @Bucks 105

08/09 Advanced Stats:

Bucks: Offense: 26th (101.0 points/100 possessions) Defense: 9th (101.3)  Pace: 10th (93.3)

Suns: Offense: 2nd (111.6 points/100 possessions) Defense: 18th (107.3) Pace: 15th (91.8)

Three points:

  • On pace. Sadly, these aren't the same run-and-gun Suns we've grown accustomed to, with Mike D'Antoni taking his speedy style to the Big Apple, where the Knicks are first in pace. In fact, Phoenix isn't even averaging as many possessions per game as the Bucks. As the advanced stats note above, the Suns rank a very average 15th in pace.
  • Big talent. The Suns rested Shaquille O'Neal last night in the team's 100-83 loss to the Bulls, but he's expected back tonight. Phoenix's imposing front line will be a lot to handle for Milwaukee's thin frontcourt. Shaq and Amare Stoudemire both rank in the top three in field goal percentage this season, at 68.8 % and 67.1 % respectively. In the battle of bigs, Andrew Bogut (who is shooting a not-too-shabby 60.8 % himself) should be able to handle his own: he averaged a positively gaudy 24.0/12.0/3.5 on 71.9 % from the field against Phoenix last year. Bogut is due for a breakthrough game too; high game this season is 14 points, after averaging 14.4 last season.
  • Another tough matchup four sure. After facing Chris Bosh, Antawn Jamison, and Kevin Garnett already, Charlie Villanueva and the Bucks have yet another tough task at power forward. Stoudemire's line on Wednesday against Indy: 49 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks on 17-21 from the field and 15-15 from the line.

Coverage:

Bucks.com GamedayBright Side of the Sun