The Milwaukee Bucks (20-18) have a chance to close out their road trip with a 3-1 record on Saturday night when they take on the suddenly slumping Portland Trail Blazers (20-19). The Bucks have recorded wins against the Raptors and Suns during their time away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and they have also fallen to the Lakers. The Blazers recently torpedoed their impressive 20-15 record by losing four straight games -- to the Warriors, Thunder, Nuggets and Cavaliers.
Despite their recent struggles, the Trail Blazers are always tough to beat at home. They own a 13-6 mark at the Rose Garden this season, so most of their losses have come on the road. Over at Blazer's Edge, Dave does a great job of breaking down who the Bucks are and how Portland can take advantage of their deficiencies:
Get back on "D", make the Bucks settle for the jump shots they love. On the other end drive past them, create chaos, and get your jumpers off of penetration instead of just lofting them. Hit the offensive rebounds hard. As long as you also take care of the ball you'll get more quality shots than they will and the game is yours. It's not rocket surgery. Then again, the Blazers have come out flat and careless in plenty of games lately. Let the Bucks get a head of steam and they do have enough offensive talent to take this game. Their scoring comes in fits and starts but when it comes, it comes hard.
This is another game that should be in Portland's control. Whether they're willing to seize it is another matter.
Injuries: The Bucks are healthy and at full strength, while Meyers Leonard (ankle) is on the injury report of Portland. He will be activated tonight, but nobody seems to know if he will actually get time on the floor.
Steve's Song of the Day:
Saturday, Jan 19, 2013, 9:00 PM CST
The Rose Garden
Portland Trail Blazers Roster