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Game 58: Bucks/Heat

2009/2010 NBA Season


29-29 (14-13 home)
29-28 (11-19 road)
February 27, 2010
American Airlines Arena
2:30 PM
Radio: WTMJ AM 620 TV: FSN-Wisconsin HD
Probable starters:
Carlos Arroyo
PG Brandon Jennings
Daequan Cook
SG John Salmons
Quentin Richardson
SF Carlos Delfino
Michael Beasley PF Luc Mbah a Moute
Jermaine O'Neal
C Andrew Bogut

(19th) 106.0 - OFFENSE - 104.4 (23rd)
(10th) 104.5 - DEFENSE - 103.7 (6th)
(28th) 90.4 - PACE - 92.8 (15th)


Peninsula is Mightier / Ira Winderman / Hot Hot Hoops

Wade out.
Dwyane Wade
will not play for the Heat today, out with a strained left calf. In two games and two losses against Milwaukee this season, he shot 33.3 % from the field, 9.1 % on three pointers, 1.5 rebounds, 4.0 turnovers, and 5.0 fouls. Still this is a major, major break for Milwaukee.

Charlie Bell, whom Brandon Jennings coined the "Wade stopper," is no longer starting, and hardly even playing (16 combined minutes in last three games). If Wade was ready to go, I think Skiles would have subbed in Charlie pretty early to match up, but that's beside the point now.

Bogut mastering swat and flop.
Bogut ranks in the top five in "defensive plays" (blocks+steals+charges drawn) in the NBA. Check out Frank's story for this and more on Bogut's defensive mastery.

Different directions.
Miami is coming off a horrific, 91-88 home loss to the Timberwolves, Dwyane Wade is ailing, Carlos Arroyo just got arrested, and that five-game winning streak that ended last Friday feels like a lot longer ago than last Friday.

That is a cautionary tale to the Bucks about how quickly a five-game win streak can sourly expire.

Nonetheless, the Bucks do carry a five-game winning streak, second longest in the NBA after Dallas' six, to South Beach. The streak has coincided with the arrival of John Salmons, who has led the team in scoring in three of his first five games. The slashing two guard has also made 17 free throws in the past two games. This isn't exactly the norm for Salmons, who set season highs for free throws made in each of the past couple games, making eight and then nine.

With more than a month and a half remaining in the regular season, the Bucks already have more wins (29) than they had in two of the previous three seasons, and they are fast closing in on last year's total of 34. Milwaukee has only had three winning seasons in the last 19 years four winning seasons in the last 18 years (including the lockout-shortened season), so this one-game-above-.500-thing is kind of a big deal.

Milwaukee will aim to go 3-0 and secure the tiebreaker in the season series with the Heat, who stand just half a game behind Milwaukee in the East.

Just like against Indiana on Thursday, the Bucks enter this game with a pair of wins in the head-to-head matchup. Milwaukee swept a home-and-home by closing January with a 95-84 home win and opening February 97-91 in Miami.