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Bucks/Wizards: Bucks join the Packers with trip to D.C.

2010/2011 NBA Season


20-30 (8-19 road) vs. 13-37 (13-12 home)
February 9, 2011
Verizon Center
6:00 PM CST
Radio: 620 WTMJ TV: FSN Wisconsin
Probable starters:
Brandon Jennings PG John Wall
John Salmons SG Nick Young
Corey Maggette SF Rashard Lewis
Ersan Ilyasova
PF Andray Blatche
Andrew Bogut
C JaVale McGee

(29th) 101.1 - OFFENSE - 102.5 (27th)
(6th) 103.1 - DEFENSE - 109.4 (22nd)
(26th) 89.8 - PACE - 93.2 (11th)

On the Wizards: Bullets Forever / Truth About It

The Green Bay Packers are probably more excited about their trip to our Nation's Capital than their basketball counterparts from Wisconsin, but the Wizards remain one of the few teams in worse shape than the Bucks, so a successful trip still seems possible, especially coming off a convincing 18-point win over the Raptors. This game marks the second night of a back-to-back and the second of four games Milwaukee will play in five days.

The (Temporary?) Return of Fish: For the first time in three weeks, John Salmons returned to the starting lineup last night and played a respectable all-around game. While he struggled a bit with his shot (7-18 FG), he finished with a team-high 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Obviously it's been a rough year for Salmons, between injuries and poor play, but we're now nearing the time of the year when he truly took off last season. The Bucks have a lot of ground to make up, and having an effective John Salmons would be a huge boost as the club looks to fight its way back into the Eastern Conference Playoff picture.
The Prince of Boards: Despite the team's sour record while missing Andrew Bogut, there were sweet performances in his absence, perhaps most notably in the form of Luc Mbah a Moute's rebounding totals. Over the past five games (including last night), Mbah a Moute is averaging 9.8 total rebounds, including 5.6 offensive boards per game. Luc is obviously an immensely valuable player on the defensive end, but is often relegated to offensive non-element. With an unspectacular 12.0 total rebound rate (lowest of the Bucks' frontcourt players excluding Maggette), one might not peg him as a productive rebounder, but his energy and toughness typically translate to at least a few grabs every night, and more often than not those offensive boards wind up tipped through the net. In fact, according to Synergy Sports, Mbah a Moute's 1.24 points per possession on offensive rebounds is 18th best in the NBA. It's a great way for an exceptional defender with a questionable jumper to contribute when he's not locking down opposing scorers.
Work Hard, Get Hurt: The Bucks are no strangers to injury, but the Wizards apparently had a really rough practice the other day and mangled up a bunch of their players. Latest news I've seen is that Yi Jianlian and Josh Howard are OUT for tonight's game, while Nick Young and Al Thornton should be ready to go. Nick Young has been playing very well since the Washington-Orlando trade that opened up significant playing time, averaging 20.8 pts/game as a starter. Still, he's not shooting great (43.3 FG%) and he turns the ball over 3+ times a game on average.
Home Sweet Home: The Bucks got a win last night in Milwaukee after a disastrous West Coast trip, putting them a game above .500 in the Bradley Center. Washington's record is still worse than the Bucks, largely thanks to their glaring 0-25 mark on the road. However, they too sit one game above .500 at home in the Verizon Center. With a hot-shot point guard to match Milwaukee's own and a good deal of athleticism on the roster, this is hardly a team that can be overlooked by the Bucks. In fact, there might be only one remaining team that fits such a description...