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Bucks/Pacers: Preview

Bucks (26-49, 13-25 road, 13th East) @ Pacers (32-44, 18-19 home, 13th East)

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

Bucks Stats: Offense 21st (102.3 pts/100 poss), Defense 29th (109.3), Rebounding 11th (.506 rr), Pace 17th (93.6)
Pacers Stats: Offense 19th (103.5 pts/100 poss), Defense 16th (105.0), Rebounding 24th (.490 rr), Pace 3rd (100.0)

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

Bucks Injuries: Yi Jianlian is out for the season with a sprained MCL. Charlie Bell is out with a right knee sprain. Jake Voskuhl is day-to-day with a sore ankle.
Pacers Injuries: Jamaal Tinsley is out with a knee injury.

07/08 Series: Pacers 2-1. The Bucks took the first meeting at the Bradley Center 104-92. The Pacers blitzed the Bucks 128-106 at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 2. The Pacers beat the Bucks 105-101 on April 5 at the Bradley Center.

Key Points:

  • The Pacers topped the Bucks 105-101 on Friday, and with the victory, they assured themselves they would finish ahead of the Bucks in the standings. The Bucks could win out and the Pacers lose out, but they still wouldn't catch up. The Bucks also are pretty much stuck in last place, trailing the Bulls by four games.
  • The Pacers have the distinction of being the worst third place team in the NBA. The Central overall has been rather disappointing, which makes the Bucks being virtually locked into a last-place finish even worse. Before the year, the Pistons, Cavaliers, and Bulls were considered strong contenders to win the conference, while the Bucks were expected to contend for the playoffs. Instead, the Pistons have cruised to the division title while the Cavaliers have been up and down and the Pacers, Bulls, and Bucks have been only bad.
  • Yi Jianlian is out for the season with a sprained MCL. The rest should come in handy, especially since he'll play such a critical role for China in the Olympics this summer. This year didn't settle much regarding who is the team's power forward of the future. Both Yi and Charlie Villanueva were inconsistent, but Yi probably gets the benefit of the doubt of the two since there is time for him to improve whereas stagnation seems the reality for Villanueva. To Villanueva's defense, it's conceivable that Milwaukee just isn't the right place for him to thrive. We just hope to not say the same thing about Yi in a few years. In any event, good to hear that Yi is in good spirits.

    "Right now I look at it, and maybe I didn't play as well as I wanted to the whole season. But the most important thing, I learned a lot and I got a lot of great experience."

  • We're not sure if this makes sense but we do know it's true: Desmond Mason is shooting a career-high 49.0 % from the field this year but a career-low 62.6 % from the free throw line. Of course the free throw line has been an adventure for Mason during his career. More curious Mason statistics? He hasn't attempted a three pointer in the past two seasons and has made only two three pointers in the past four seasons. Can't say that about many small forwards. He's also averaging a career high in blocks per game, at 0.6, and a career low in fouls per game, with 1.8.
  • Indy Cornrows is a great source for more on the Pacers.