Pacers (31-44, 13-25 road, 10th East) @ Bucks (26-48, 19-18 home, 13th East)
Bucks Stats: Offense 21st (102.4 pts/100 poss), Defense 29th (109.4), Rebounding 13th (.506 rr), Pace 18th (93.5)
Pacers Stats: Offense 19th (103.5 pts/100 poss), Defense 16th (105.1), Rebounding 24th (.490 rr), Pace 3rd (99.9)
Bucks Injuries: Charlie Bell is out with a right knee sprain. Jake Voskuhl is day-to-day with a sore ankle. Yi Jianlian left the team's game against the Wizards on Wednesday with a sprained left knee and is scheduled for an MRI.
Pacers Injuries: Jamaal Tinsley is out with a knee injury.
- The Bucks are trying to stay perfect in April, coming off two straight wins to open the month, including Wednesday's dramatic 110-109 win over the Wizards. The Bucks now play the Pacers two games in a row: once tonight at home, and then again in Indiana on Sunday.
- Yes, you probably want to watch Sessions hit that shot again. Tom Enlund has more on the rookie hero.
- Truman Reed at Bucks.com writes a really good article about Jon McGlocklin's basketball road traveled, which continues tonight as the Bucks will rededicate his #14 jersey.
He began his National Basketball Association career with the Cincinnati Royals and played two seasons with them before going to the San Diego Rockets in the 1967 expansion draft. He entered another expansion draft the following year, at his request, and became an original member of the Milwaukee Bucks.
"The first thing I remember about coming to Milwaukee was driving down I-94 and smelling the hops and not knowing what they were," McGlocklin recalled. "It's difficult to compare San Diego and Milwaukee, but because we were so excited about the team, we were happy with everthing."
The rest, as the say, is history.
On a related note, in an otherwise mostly dismal season, we are grateful to have such an excellent broadcast team with McGlocklin teaming with Jim Paschke. Thanks to both of you (as well as Scott Williams) for continuing to keep things interesting.
- The win over the Wizards came on the same night that the Bucks were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but if the victory was bittersweet, the sweetness was much more pronounced than the bitterness. We say let the good times roll. Tom Enlund reports the Bucks are playing for wins, not lottery ping-pong balls.
Plus there is not that much to be "gained" by dropping one position. The team with the seventh-worst record has a 4.3% chance of getting the first pick and the sixth-worst team has a 6.3% chance. If the Bucks should happen to move in the other direction, the eighth-worst team has a 2.8% chance to win the lottery.
"I want to win," Krystkowiak said. "I know the fans say, 'Hey, let's get a better pick.' OK, we lose the rest of our games and we probably aren't going to move. I'm glad that I haven't been told that we need to lose games and that players still want to play."
For a coach on the hot seat, this is a no-brainer, but it's undeniable that wins are always better than losses, and Wednesday provided a compelling reason why this is a fact.
- Fond du Lac native Travis Diener started last time out against the Bucks, and played quite well, with 15 points, six assists, and four steals. However, while he's still getting significant minutes, Diener has been coming off the bench lately. Flip Murray, whom the Pacers signed about a month ago, has been starting at the point. Murray has historically played well against the Bucks, averaging 13.9 points on 48.0 % in nine career games. That is his second highest scoring mark against any team in the NBA.
- Gilbert Arenas made an unexpected return against the Bucks on Wednesday. Tonight, the Bucks face another star who has missed most of the season due to injury: Jermaine O'Neal. O'Neal played for the first time since Jan. 16 on March 31 in a 105-85 win over the Heat and scored 9 points in 17 minutes. The Pacers are wisely easing him back onto the court, bringing him off the bench for each of his first two appearances after sitting out two and half months.
- This is not a belated April Fool's joke: The Bucks no longer have the worst defensive efficiency in the NBA. Not coincidentally, they also didn't allow 130 points to the Grizzlies a couple days ago. Thank you cards are in order for Zach Randolph, Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson, Jared Jeffies, Fred Jones...
- Check out Indy Cornrows, a great source for more on the Pacers.