News/notes after the jump...
Threes/frees. Cleveland is one of two NBA teams to both shoot threes better than Milwaukee (39.5 % - 36.1 %) and shoot free throws worse than Milwaukee (74.8 % - 72.5 %). Orlando is the other.
However, the Bucks have climbed to 19th in the NBA in free throw percentage, and their accuracy at the line has played a big role in recent success: Milwaukee is shooting 87-104 (.836) at the free throw line in its last five games combined. John Salmons, 28-31 (.903) in that span, has been most terrific.
The last time these two met here, the Cavaliers scored 29 in a row, including a personal 14-0 run by Delonte West. The Cavs won 101-86, which was a rather believable final score; the shock was in the details.
A week and a half later, the Bucks fell 85-83 in Cleveland after Brandon Jennings tossed an airball three-point attempt in the waning seconds. The 85 points ties the Cavs lowest output of the year to date.
Milwaukee has moved up to sixth in the East, but they lead eighth place Miami by only 1.5 games, so a first-round playoff matchup remains possible. Regardless of matchups, the Cavs are the best team in the league and the last team the Bucks want to see in the playoffs, although the BC would light up like something we haven't seen in many years for a playoff game against LeBron.
The Bucks put a 102-74 hex on the , read all about it.
And Cleveland scooted past Detroit at home last night 99-92 after trailing by 21 points in the first half. Cleveland coming back from 21 to beat the Pistons is about as surprising as LeBron James going for 40/13/6. Which is to say, nothing surprising happened in that one. Although, something very scary did happen: Rodney Stuckey literally collapsed in the third quarter. Thankfully, he was released from the hospital, so hopefully everything is okay.
As Frank noted in last night's recap, with five more swats, Andrew Bogut has blocked exactly five shots in five of the past nine games. And then there is that little 26-game streak with at least one block.
Drivin' 55, and under.
A couple cats in the building who have dropped 55 in the building. LeBron scored 55 just over a year ago at the BC, and Brandon drove for 55 less than four months ago. They combined for 48 (Jennings 24, James 14) in the first matchup in Milwaukee this season.
OnMilwaukee: Bogut, Bucks pointing toward playoffs
Drew Olson pens an illuminating look at the playoff push, particularly Andrew Bogut's unique road traveled.
In addition to doing stretching and core work while watching reruns of "Seinfeld" and other shows, Bogut uses "all kinds of contraptions" to help with his routine. "I use lacrosse balls to do self massage ... I've got all kinds of stuff," he said. "I started doing pilates this last off-season and that helped me immensely in terms of flexibility and strength."
Perhaps the two hottest NBA teams outside of Dallas are in town tonight, and I can't remember the last time there was such an intriguing basketball game at the Bradley Center. The Bucks have won eight of nine, the Cavaliers have reeled off six in a row because that's just what they do, and the best basketball player in the world is here. Predictions, anyone?