Jazz (42-23, 14-20 road, 4th West) @ Bucks (23-41, 17-14 home, 13th East)
Bucks Stats: Offense 20th (102.3 pts/100 poss), Defense 30th (109.2), Rebounding 18th (.500 rr), Pace 20th (93.2)
Jazz Stats: Offense 2nd (109.7 pts/100 poss), Defense 13th (103.6), Rebounding 5th (.517 rr), Pace 9th (96.5)
Bucks Injuries: Mo Williams is day-to-day with an inflamed abdomen. Yi Jianlian's return is also uncertain due to lingering injuries to his wrist and ankle.
Jazz Injuries: Andrei Kirilenko is playing despite a hip injury inflicted by Dirk Nowitzki a week ago.
07/08 Series: Jazz 1-0. Utah downed the Bucks 98-87 in Salt Lake City in January. The Bucks got 23/10 from Bogut and led by one heading into the final quarter, but were outscored 27-15 in the fourth.
- The Jazz had their five game winning streak snapped last night in their 108-96 loss to the Bulls. Memo Okur had 22/18 while Williams had 20 points and 10 dimes.
- The Bucks meanwhile will look to rebound from yet another road loss, this time in Washington to the undermanned Wizards 105-97. The 2005 frontcourt of the future had their second big effort in a week, as Charlie Villanueva had 24/16 while Andrew Bogut added 23/12 (close their 53/24 effort vs. Seattle). Unfortunately for the Bucks, Bogut got only one shot in the fourth quarter (he missed) while Villanueva was just 1/5 in the final quarter. Though we've seen that sort of line from Bogut semi-frequently this year, it was something of a statement after his poor effort on Sunday.
- Okur had a miserable start to the year (13.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, .422 fg% before the all-star break) but he's been on fire of late, averaging 20.8/11.8 on .583 shooting in five March games. In other words, Charlie Villanueva's synapses will need to be firing on the defensive end for a change.
- While his defense remains pedestrian at best and utterly clueless at worst, Villanueva has been bringing it offensively of late. Over the past four games he's averaged 24.3 ppg and 9.7 rpg and he's made 16 straight from the line. Still, he's averaged only 3.3 fta in that span, which along with his .464 fg% means he's not scoring as efficiently has you'd like. But after CV's anonymous first half of the season it's pretty fun to see him putting up some numbers for a change.
- Check out Basketball John, My Utah Jazz, the Deseret Morning News and the Salt Lake Tribune for more on the Jazz.