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Bucks/Pacers: Preview

Bucks (22-37, 6-25 road, 12th East) @ Pacers (23-36, 11-18 home, 11th East)

Gametime: 5:00 pm CT
TV: FSN Wisconsin/League Pass/NBA Broadband
Radio: 620 WTMJ/Stream Free @NBA.com

Bucks Stats: Offense 19th (102.0 pts/100 poss), Defense 30th (108.8), Rebounding 19th (.500 rr), Pace 23rd (92.9)
Pacers Stats: Offense 18th (102.3 pts/100 poss), Defense 18th (104.4), Rebounding 22nd (.492 rr), Pace 3rd (100.1)

Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut
Pacers Lineup: Travis Diener / Mike Dunleavy Jr. / Danny Granger / Troy Murphy / Jeff Foster

Bucks Injuries: None.
Pacers Injuries: Jamaal Tinsley is out with a knee injury. Jermaine O'Neal is out with a knee injury. Shawne Williams was not with the team in Toronto due to some sketchy personal reasons.

07/08 Series: Bucks 1-0. The Bucks took the first meeting at the Bradley Center 104-92, one of just three double-digit wins for the Bucks all year.

Key Points:

  • The Pacers snapped their three game losing streak with an impressive 122-111 win in Toronto on Friday, as Mike Dunleavy led the way with a career-high 36. With leading scorer Danny Granger (18.2 ppg) serving a one-game suspension, the Pacers also got 23 from Kareem Rush, 18 from Troy Murphy and 16 from Stephen Graham.
  • The Bucks meanwhile have been playing well at home since the all-star break, though they dropped a tough 96-94 decision to the world champion Spurs last night. They've been brutal on the road all year (6-25), with their latest loss coming Thursday in a 120-106 defeat in New Jersey. One thing the Bucks can take solace in: the Pacers have actually been worse at home (11-18) than on the road (12-18). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Pacers rank last in the league in average home attendance per game (12,203).
  • The Bucks had scored 100+ points in six straight before falling short of that mark against the Spurs, and don't expect the Pacers to try to slow things down any. Indiana ranks third in the league in pace so expect a fairly high scoring game. The Pacers rank third in three pointers/game (8.9) while the Bucks rank 29th in 3fg% (.38). Ironically, only the Pacers concede their opponents a higher percentage from distance.
  • The Pacers have signed former Buck Flip Murray to provide some bench support. Murrary had been with Detroit before being bought out. Tinsley had been thought to be available shortly, but Murray's signing has raised concern that Tinsley may be further from returning than originally thought.
  • Andrew Bogut went seven straight games shooting less than 50% from the field before going off for 22/15 on 11/16 fg against New Jersey. He then followed that up by outplaying Tim Duncan last night with a 17/15 line against the Spurs, though he was again back under the 50% mark from the field (6/13 fg). Either way, aggressiveness hasn't been a problem lately for Bogut. Before a week ago, Bogut had never cracked double-digit free throw attempts in a game, but he's managed to accomplish that feat twice within the span of a week with 6/10 against the Cavs and 5/10 against the Spurs. While he sandwiched those around a zero free throw attempt game in New Jersey, but he still managed a big night. He's still shaky from the line, but to his credit he did manage to shoot a 71% clip in February.
  • Wisconsin native and Marquette alum Travis Diener has been forced into a starting role with Tinsley out. He averaged 9.7 ppg and 6.3 apg in 32 mpg in February, but shot just .354 from the field and .292 from distance. He scored a career-high 22 (along with nine helpers) against the Bulls on Wednesday and then had his first career double-double with 10 pts and a career-high tying 10 assists on Friday vs. Toronto.
  • The Pacers weren't expected to be a playoff team, but you have to give Jim O'Brien and company some credit for fighting through a seemingly never-ending set of distractions. Whether it's Jamaal Tinsley's entourage being shot at, a woman claiming to be raped at Marquis Daniels' house (though not by him), David Harrison's weed suspension, or Shawne Williams' friend being arrested on murder charges, there's no such thing as a surprise anymore with Larry Bird's crew in Indy.
  • Check out the consistently excellent Indy Cornrows for more on the Pacers.