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Bucks vs. Suns Preview: Milwaukee Tries To Avoid 0-5 Road Trip In Phoenix

2011/2012 NBA Season

2-5 (0-5 road) 3-4 (2-2 home)
January 8, 2012
US Airways Center
7:00 PM CT
Radio: 1250 WSSP TV: FSN Wisconsin
Probable starters:
Brandon Jennings
PG Steve Nash
Carlos Delfino SG Jared Dudley
Stephen Jackson SF Grant Hill
Ersan Ilyasova
PF Channing Frye
Drew Gooden C Marcin Gortat

(27th) 97.5 - OFFENSE - 102.1 (16th)
(6th) 98.0 - DEFENSE - 100.4 (9th)
(6th) 93.8 - PACE - 90.9 (21st)

On the Suns: Bright Side of the Sun / Valley of the Suns

The Milwaukee Bucks set out on their Western Conference road trip with a 2-1 record and a relatively healthy roster. As they roll into Phoenix, they drag with them a four-game losing streak and a roster missing two starters and other key rotation players.

Andrew Bogut is returning from Australia today after spending time attending to a personal matter with his family. According to Bogut's agent David Bauman (via Gery Woelfel), Bogut is expected to play Tuesday when the Bucks take on San Antonio in Milwaukee. We hope that everything is well with Andrew and his family, and I think I speak for every Bucks fan when I say we've missed you.

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An Ignominious Streak. The Milwaukee Bucks haven't won a game in Phoenix in 9,087 days. Nine thousand eighty seven days. The Bucks' last victory in Phoenix came on February 21, 1987. At the risk of anti-dating myself, a Bucks victory in Phoenix tonight would be their first in my lifetime. If you're interested in reading about Milwaukee's last road victory against the Suns, check out the cool retro-recap Steve posted earlier.

A Few Familiar Faces. Hakim Warrick, who spent half a season in Milwaukee before being traded to Chicago in 2010 as part of the John Salmons deal, leads the Suns in per-game scoring through their first seven games. But he's hardly the most notable ex-Buck on Phoenix's roster this year. Michael Redd--excuse me--former All-Star Michael Redd now calls Phoenix home. Redd is still working his way back to the court; Suns coach Alvin Gentry said last Wednesday that he doesn't expect Redd to play for at least 10 days which, if my math is correct, means not today. No doubt members of the Bucks organization will be eager to talk to Michael before the game after his long, strange journey in Milwaukee.

Surprising Suns Stats. The Phoenix Suns have historically been the poster-team for high-paced offense and lackadaisical defense, but this iteration has turned the tables on history. Phoenix enters tonight top-10 in defensive efficiency and below-average in pace. The roster isn't exactly chock-full of playmakers outside of Steve Nash, but Marcin Gortat and rookie Markieff Morris have both played well on the interior. The issue has largely been consistency: the same team that lost to New Orleans recently obliterated an impressive Portland team.