The Bucks head back out on the road for the first time in over a week as they wrap up the season series against the Washington Wizards. These teams split the first two games, each winning on their home floor, with the victor scoring 100 points in both games. The Bucks hope to break one trend tonight and pick up a critically-needed win.
Injury Updates. First the good news, courtesy of the big guy himself:
Great news today! All clear to play... Lets get a W
And, because it just wouldn't be fair to get only good news for a change, from Charles F. Gardner:
Corey Maggette not with team after banging his right knee in second quarter vs. Celtics on Sunday night.
The revolving door of able-bodied basketball players continues.
JS: Redd's return still raises questions
Between all the other injured players on the roster, not to mention the multitude of additional problems plaguing the team, it's easy to read updates on Michael Redd's progress toward returning to professional basketball and forget about him ten minutes later. But he's not going away -- in fact, he's getting closer, with his targeted return date still hovering around March 21, according to Charles F. Gardner. The Bucks play eight games between now and then (counting tonight), five of which come against Eastern Conference Playoff teams (wasn't the schedule supposed to be easy at this point?). Redd's return likely means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but the question of, "how will he be able to help?" is quickly being replaced by, "will his return matter at all?"
Bizarro Basketball. It's almost comical how similar the two previous games in this series were, except in result. In their home victory, the Bucks ORtg was 105.8 and their DRtg was 92.1. In the road loss, those numbers were 93.2/109.7. In both games, the victor had a clear advantage at the free-throw line and on the defensive glass. Having Andrew Bogut back for this game should help tremendously for the latter, but the Wizards have plenty of athleticism to get to the line if the Bucks get too foul-happy. Milwaukee's own players, especially Brandon Jennings, would be wise to make a concerted effort to draw fouls as well. Case in point: Corey Maggette was 7-7 at the stripe in Milwaukee's victory; he was 0-1 in their defeat. It's also worth noting that Milwaukee's victory came while Jennings was out -- Keyon Dooling had an excellent game in his place, scoring 23 points on only 11 shots.
Injuries on both sides. The Bucks bow to nobody when it comes to players missing time, but the Wizards are fairly beat-up themselves. Washington hopes to have Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard available as soon as possible, but tonight may not be the night. Both are currently listed as day-to-day, while Maurice Evans is listed among the official Wizards website's probable starters in place of Lewis. Nick Young returned to action for Washington on Sunday after missing time due to the flu. As they say, no rest for the weary. Young has averaged 50% shooting in his two previous games against Milwaukee this season, scoring over 20 points each time.