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Bucks/Blazers: Jennings and Maggette out in battle of ailing teams

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2010/2011 NBA Season


10-15 (3-9 road)
14-14 (9-3 home)
December 20, 2010
Rose Garden
9:00 PM
Radio: 620 WTMJ TV: FSN Wisconsin
Probable starters:
Keyon Dooling
PG Andre Miller
John Salmons
SG Wesley Matthews
Chris Douglas-Roberts
SF Rudy Fernandez
Ersan Ilyasova
PF Dante Cunningham
Andrew Bogut
C LaMarcus Aldridge

(29th) 100.4 - OFFENSE -  106.3 (14th)
(6th) 102.1 - DEFENSE - 107.0 (17th)
(23rd) 90.9  - PACE -  88.7 (30th)

On the Blazers:

Blazers EdgePortland Roundball Society / Oregon Live

The Bucks start a three-game holiday week road trip against the Blazers, who have fought injuries to remain even at 14-14. Meanwhile, Brandon Jennings (foot) will not play for Milwaukee, and neither will Corey Maggette (concussive symptoms). For Portland, Brandon Roy (knee) is out, and Nicolas Batum (shoulder), Marcus Camby (shoulder), and Joel Przybilla (ankle) are questionable.

Jennings and Maggette out. Brandon Jennings (foot) and Corey Maggette (concussive symptoms) were pretty bad on Saturday night against the Jazz. Now we have some perspective. Charles Gardner at the JS reported that Jennings hurt his foot against San Antonio and was playing in pain against Utah, while Maggette is not making the trip out west after suffering "concussive symptoms." Because the Bucks don't have enough of those going around already. This will mark the first game Jennings has missed a game in the NBA, snapping a streak of 107 consecutive games started.

Star power outage. The Bucks won't get much sympathy for their injuries from the Blazers, who just won against the Warriors by a 96-95 count playing with nine men. Among the Blazers missing from the game: starters Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, and Marcus Camby, as well as Joel Przybilla and of course, Greg Oden.

In their stead, Portland had six players hit double figures, including Australian point guard Patty Mills, who chipped in with a career-high 12 points off the bench. The very-shortened bench meant 26 combined minutes for Sean Marks and Luke Babbit, for better or worse (worse).

Milwaukee 76ers. In a season full of decling to score points, the Bucks bottomed out with 76 in the first matchup with Portland back on Nov. 2. And just in case you have some undue confidence because of Portland's injuries, recall that the Bucks were done in by the likes of Wesley Matthews, Dante Cunningham and Armon Johnson.

It was a weird game in Milwaukee. The Bucks scored those 76 points while making more shots (9-14, .643) from 16-23 feet than they did at the rim (8-20, .400).

Off pace. Just 89 possessions in a pretty slow game against Utah in which the Bucks shot pretty well (45.1 %) but didn't get out in transition (four fastbreak points) and didn't get extra chances (three offensive rebounds). Now they play the slowest team of all, in terms of pace, in Portland.

And None. The Blazers are last in the NBA with a 1.97 And 1 % in games played through Dec. 14.

Rudy. Rudy Fernandez started the season amid lots of discussion that he wanted out of Portland. He did nothing in the first game against Milwaukee (1-4 on all three-pointers, three points in 15 minutes), and there have been more downs than ups so far, but he is coming off two of his best (his two best, probably) games of the season.

Fernandez went for 23/3/6 and made 4-9 threes again Minnesota and then put up 15/4/6 on 2-4 threes against Golden State. The six assists in each game marked a season-high, as did his three steals in each game.

Sold. The Trail Blazers have sold out 127 consecutive games coming into tonight. They are at 102.1 % capacity this season. Milwaukee and Portland are very comparably-sized cities -- Milwaukee is slightly larger but both right around 600,000 -- but the Bucks are drawing 15,663, which is actually an increase from the 15,108 average from last year.