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Grizzlies/Bucks: Memphis looking to take advantage of banged-up Bucks

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2009/2010 NBA Season

Mem2_medium



Mil_2_medium
38-34 (16-19 road)
vs.
39-32 (24-11 home)
March 28, 2010
Bradley Center
2:00 PM
Radio: WTMJ AM 620 TV: No Local (LP Only)
Probable starters:
Mike Conley
PG Brandon Jennings
O.J. Mayo
SG Charlie Bell
Rudy Gay
SF John Salmons
Zach Randolph
PF Luc Mbah a Moute
Marc Gasol
C Kurt Thomas
(10th) 108.9 - OFFENSE - 104.3 (23rd)
(20th) 109.4 - DEFENSE - 102.9 (5th)
(10th) 93.4 - PACE - 92.2 (18th)

 

Linkage

Straight Outta Vancouver / Three Shades of Blue / Bucks Gameday

 

Hurt Locker.  Losing to Miami was at least not as surprising as the midweek clunker against Philly, but the injury-to-insult effect of getting blown out by a chasing rival, playing without your injured best player and losing your starting small forward to a scary neck injury was none too fun. 

The Bucks knew earlier in the day that they would be without anchor Andrew Bogut due to a mid-back strain, which aside from scaring the hell out of Bucks fans also provided some explanation for Bogut's poor play over the previous week.  The Bucks continue to offer words of encouragement about the injury, as Scott Skiles told the JS on Friday that the injury was considered minor and completely unrelated to the lower back injury which cost Bogut most of 08/09.  So that's encouraging.  Moreover, Skiles expressed some hope that Bogut would be ready for the matchup against the Grizzlies.

"I've just had trouble moving around," Bogut said. "I don't think it's anything major.

"I've felt it for a couple days now. I didn't practice yesterday; did treatment around the clock yesterday. I did 3 or 4 hours worth. I'm trying to get it loose; it won't break free at the moment. It's one of those things, it could be free in a day, it could be free in 3 or 4 hours. It could be free in two or three days.

"It's different with everybody. Hopefully sooner than later."

As for Delfino, he was released from the hospital Saturday morning after tests for head and neck injuries revealed no structural damage. As palomba noted in the FanPosts, Delfino was in good spirits all things considered, though he was left with a headache and three stitches on his chin.  Charlie Bell will presumably start in Delfino's place tomorrow (making Salmons effectively the 3), though I suppose anything is possible given the Bucks' struggles on both ends the past two games.  Bell also started in Delfino's absence against the Clippers a couple weeks ago, but struggled mightily.

Memphis has had their own injury worries with Marc Gasol having missed five straight due to a neck injury, though he could be back in the lineup Sunday.  Ronnie Brewer reaggravated a hamstring injury last week and is also a doubt after missing the Grizz's loss in Oakland on Wednesday.

Jennings' strugglesBrandon Jennings has been fairly awful since his headlining act in Sacramento nine days ago, which is especially frustrating given he finally appeared to be getting back to his best in the first half of March.  So much for that.  In the last four he's scored just 27 points combined (9/34 fg) while failing to register more than four assists in any of them.  That's understandably translated into more minutes for Luke Ridnour, who's scored 11+ in four straight (13 ppg) while getting the majority of the playing time.  Delfino's (presumed) absence opens up the possibility for Jennings and Ridnour to again play more together, though Skiles hasn't hesitated to keep his rookie on the bench for extended periods lately.  All in all, it leaves us still very much guessing as to how good Jennings can be--a future all-star as he hinted in November, or a frustrating T.J. Ford type who never puts it all together?  Time is definitely on his side, but it all becomes a bit more pressing when the team is desperately trying to win games in the interim.