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Bucks vs. Pistons Preview: Knight, Sanders looking to keep hot streak alive and extend Detroit's misery

The second half of the home-and-home series moves to Detroit, where Milwaukee has lost three in a row.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off back-to-back wins over the Pistons and Timberwolves, the Bucks will be looking for their second three-game winning streak of the season when they head to Detroit on Friday.

Pistons Update. Not much has happened since we last saw the boys in red, white, and blue. Less than 24 hours after falling by ten to the Bucks in Milwaukee the Pistons got Clipped by six in Los Angeles behind 48 combined points from Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford. Five Detroit players scored in double figures in that game, and the Pistons had their best night offensively (109.6 ORtg) since beating the Bucks back on November 7, but they couldn't keep pace with the Clippers, who shot 43% from three-point range.

A late Thanksgiving for somebody. The Bucks have lost three in a row in Detroit, but the Pistons have lost six in a row overall, and nine of their last ten. Somebody's gonna break an undesirable streak tonight. The six-game losing streak is Detroit's longest in 20 months.

The B.J. / D.J. Conundrum. There's been some griping in Detroit about Brandon Jennings again, with the young point guard finding himself on the bench at unexpected times as head coach Stan Van Gundy tries to get things under control. That's why some fans were a little excited when Jennings gave way to the "steadier" D.J. Augustin due to a sprained thumb that has held him out of two straight contests and might do so again tonight. Augustin has played well in two spot starts, boosting his TS% to 55.1 compared to 49.0 in 13 games off the bench. But it might shock Bucks fans to know that, statistically in any case, Jennings has been quite good this year. He's obliterating his career high in TS% (56.7) and has raised his AST% again (37.7) after making a big improvement last year. So while Jennings is a popular target for frustration, he might not be the primary ailment causing Detroit's malaise. (cough cough JOSH SMITH HAS A 40.3 TS% AND ALMOST 25% USAGE cough)

Happy Holidays for Knight and Sanders. Brandon Knight and Larry Sanders, two players fueling Milwaukee's recent success, will hope turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, beans, dinner rolls, pie, that cranberry stuff kids are scared of, carrots, and ultimately more pie can fuel more for themselves. While Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker got top billing in the Bucks' 103-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Knight and Sanders made a number of key plays throughout the game and especially in the 4th quarter to close out a comfortable win. Sanders has scored in double-figures in back-to-back games for the first time this year while Knight has averaged 17.5 points, 5 assists, and 2.5 steals in the last two. And here's hoping Giannis Antetokounmpo proves that Tuesday's clunker against the Pistons (2 pts, 1-13 FG) was just an aberration.


Condolences to Zaza and his family.

With John Henson (sprained foot) also expected to miss tonight's game, the Bucks will be left with only one real center (Sanders) and a handful of guys who can play power forward (Ersan Ilyasova, Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo). Not exactly good timing considering the bulk that Detroit has to offer up front, so expect the Bucks to rely more than ever on their blitzing/fronting defensive schemes.

14/15 NBA Season
(9-7, 4-5 road)
(3-12, 2-5 home)
November 28, 2014
Palace of Auburn Hills | Detroit, MI
6:30 CT
Fox Sports Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Brandon Knight PG D.J. Augustin
O.J. Mayo SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Giannis Antetokounmpo SF Josh Smith
Jabari Parker PF Greg Monroe
Larry Sanders C Andre Drummond
2014/15 Advanced Stats
93.0 (18th)
Pace 91.1 (25th)
100.9 (27th) ORtg 100.4 (28th)
102.4 (6th)
DRtg 106.3 (15th)

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