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Cavaliers/Bucks: Preview

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Cavs (40-30, 15-14 road, 4th East) @ Bucks (23-44, 17-17 home, 13th East)

Gametime: 7:30 pm CT
TV: FSN Wisconsin/League Pass/NBA TV/Free NBA Broadband
Radio: 620 WTMJ/Stream Free

Bucks Stats: Offense 21st (102.4 pts/100 poss), Defense 30th (109.5), Rebounding 17th (.502 rr), Pace 20th (93.3)
Cavs Stats: Offense 16th (103.5 pts/100 poss), Defense 12th (103.7), Rebounding 2nd (.522 rr), Pace 23rd (92.8)

Bucks Lineup: Mo Williams / Michael Redd / Desmond Mason / Charlie Villanueva / Andrew Bogut
Cavs Lineup: Delonte West / Sasha Pavlovic / LeBron James / Ben Wallace / Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Bucks Injuries: Andrew Bogut is expected to return to the lineup tonight after missing time with a thigh bruise.
Cavs Injuries: None.

07/08 Series: Bucks 2-1. The teams have split the two games in Cleveland, with the Bucks winning 111-107 on Nov. 20 and then the Cavs winning 104-99 in double overtime on Dec. 17. The Bucks topped the Cavaliers 105-102 at the Bradley Center on Feb 26.

Key Points:

  • Having lost five straight home games since a 118-106 win over the Sonics on March 5, the Bucks have slipped to an even 17-17 at the Bradley Center. If the Bucks lose tonight, it will mark the first time this season they would be below .500 at home. The Bucks started 6-0 at home, but haven't dominated since then, winning 3, 4, and 3 games at home in December, January, and February respectively, and once this month. The Bucks went 18-25 at home last year.
  • Michael Redd pulled up for a game-winning three pointer to lift the Bucks 105-102 the last time these times met, on Feb. 26. The Bucks came from behind and beat a Cavs team on a three-game winning streak in dramatic fashion, easily one of the most memorable and best days of the year to be a Bucks fan. Things haven't gone so well since. The Bucks are 1-9 after the big win.
  • Redd is averaging 27.0 points, 6.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.3 steals in three games against the Cavaliers this season. He's only shooting 40.7 % from the field however.
  • The Cavaliers beat the Raptors 90-83 last night, led by 29/12/5 from who else, Lebron James. On Wednesday, the Cavaliers beat the Pistons 89-73. James led the way with 30/7/6, which is actually slightly below his season averages, amazing as that is. Prior to that game, they had dropped two of three.
  • At 23-44, the Bucks are now behind where they were last season at the same time, when they were 25-42 after 67 games. The Bucks must go at least 6-9 in their final 15 games to eclipse last year's win total of 28.
  • Larry Krystkowiak has vowed to only play the guys who hustle on offense and defense, and play with pride. Michael Redd sounds like he's ready to be one of those players, though he seems less certain about who will be in Milwaukee next season.

    "It's important to continue just playing hard," Redd said, "and try to have some momentum going into next season, whoever's here.
    "I don't know what the future holds. I'm sure Senator (Herb) Kohl will make the right decision as far as who to hire (as general manager). I think it's important that whoever we bring in be quality. That's all I ever ask, quality character and quality mind. We'll see what they do."

  • LeBron James has led the Cavaliers in scoring 19 straight games, dating all the way back to Feb. 13. Don't dare call him a ballhog though; James has led the Cavs in assists in 15 of those 19 games.
  • The Bucks have lost six in a row, and are allowing 108.6 points in the span. They have have been the least efficient defensive team in the NBA for a while now, and currently are allowing 109.5 points / 100 possessions.
  • If you don't know who Lance Allred is, you will after reading a truly excellent interview conducted by Hardwood Paroxysm with the recent Cavaliers D-League call-up.

    Allred: I have high standards of myself, and I take accountability for my actions. I expect great things for myself. Because I have those expectations, when I'm in the D-League I want to play well, but it's so much stress because you're worried about each game. It's a platform league, to get a better job next year. That's the whole point of the league. For me, it's been the true pinnacle of what it can do for someone coming from obscurity to having a chance to play in the NBA. You know my teammate, Cory Violette, has made really good money overseas. But I wanted to play in the NBA, so this is what I've stuck with.

  • Check out the always stellar Brian Windhorst for more on the Cavs. Also worth reading: And One and Waiting for Next Year.