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Game 46: Bucks/Heat

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Rafer 'round Wade.

2009/2010 NBA Season

Mia_medium


Mil_2_medium
24-23 (13-11 road)
vs.
20-25 (5-18 home)
February 1, 2010
American Airlines Arena
6:30 PM
Radio: WTMJ AM 620 TV: FSN-Wisconsin HD
Probable starters:
Rafer Alston
PG Brandon Jennings
Dwyane Wade
SG Charlie Bell
Quentin Richardson
SF Carlos Delfino
Michael Beasley PF Luc Mbah a Moute
Joel Anthony
C Andrew Bogut

(16th) 106.9 - OFFENSE - 104.0 (23rd)
(12th) 106.0 - DEFENSE - 104.2 (9th)
(28th) 90.7 - PACE - 93.3 (9th)

Linkage

Peninsula is Mightier / Ira Winderman / Hot Hot Hoops

Finding a balance. I've been on this before, but the team's post-Redd, moderate success while not relying offensively on any one or two players in particular continues to fascinate: The Bucks had six different leading scorers in the last five games of January: Ridnour (27) at Toronto, Delfino (23) vs Minnesota, Bogut (32) at Dallas, Jennings and Bell (18) vs Philadelphia, and Warrick (22) vs Miami.

And they went 3-2 in those five, with both losses (in Toronto after leading big and in Dallas by a point) falling under the close, crushing category. A crowded category this season.

A new month. Despite the six-game west coast road trip and despite losing Mike Redd to injury during that west coast road trip, the Bucks won just as many games in January (8) as they did in the sort of magical month of November. Milwaukee just finished up an 8-7 January, saving the season after a 3-11 December which followed an 8-6 November, and 1-1 October.

The Bucks play nine of 14 on the road in February, but the road on the road isn't terribly intimidating. They travel to winnable venues in Miami twice, New York twice, New Jersey, Indiana, and Detroit. They also travel to tough arenas in Orlando and Atlanta.

Wade and Beasley. Dwyane's 6-20 (.300) shooting night in Milwaukee was his second worst of the season.

Wade's only more inaccurate shooting game came Nov. 25 against Orlando when he shot 6-22. In that game, his final shot was an airball that Michael Beasley dunked home for this bizarre last-second game-winner. Wade didn't have the luxury of Beasley rebounding his misses in Milwaukee, and both players are listed as questionable for tonight's game, along with Mario Chalmers.

Wasting away. The Bucks could use a road win. Skiles, after the win over Miami on Saturday:

The teams ahead of us have some real signature wins on the road. And nothing against the teams we've beaten on the road. But we're going to have to, at some point, if we are going to hang with those teams, go on the road -- we've been right there several games -- but we're going to need to go on the road and win some of those games. And we've got a tough test this week.

The road win over last-place Minnesota, admittedly not signature. Against last-place Golden St., not qualifying either. Versus historically bad last-place New Jersey, also not so much. Indiana is half a game from last place. And Memphis, while a legit team, is also half a game from last place.

It would be worse if the Bucks couldn't boast those road wins, but the problem is that they can only boast those road wins. Winning in Miami might not really be a signature road win either, but it would be awfully useful, as the Heat are now in eighth place in the East, percentage points behind Chicago.