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Sliding Bucks without O.J. Mayo tonight against reeling Nuggets

The Bucks seek offense tonight in Denver, who seek a new start after the firing of coach Brian Shaw on Tuesday morning.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It's been hard to watch the Milwaukee Bucks (32-27) over the last week-and-a-half, in which they've dropped four of five.  The offense has looked flat out terrible since the All Star Break, still searching for continuity following the trade of Brandon Knight.

But if you need a place to sort out your troubles, Denver is not a bad option.  The Nuggets (20-39) have not won since the All Star Break, have dropped 19 of their last 21, and said goodbye to head coach Brian Shaw just this morning. Shaw, a long-time assistant with the Lakers, finally got a head coaching gig last season. What transpired was a disappointing and injury-plagued rookie coaching campaign (36-46) followed by an an all-out dumpster fire this season, filled with lackluster effort and in-fighting. His departure is not surprising.

Can the Bucks take advantage of the Denver trainwreck tonight and get their offense back on track?  The Nuggets are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, but that has mattered little to the Bucks of late.  Utah isn't much better, and the Bucks ran an offense resembling your local Boys & Girls Club league on Saturday.  To make the problem more complicated, O.J. Mayo will sit out with a hamstring injury, per Charles Gardner. On the plus side, Jared Dudley (knee) practiced yesterday and has proclaimed himself ready to return.

Can Giannis get off his schnide tonight against the length of guys like Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler?  Will Michael Carter-Williams be able to keep a potentially rejuvenated Ty Lawson in check now that the head coach he butt heads with is gone?  Maybe the biggest question of all is how the Nuggets even look tonight under assistant coach Melvin Hunt. Usually, coaching changes provide a temporary spark in a team, even translating to a few victories.

The Bucks have seen two very winnable games pass them by on this West Coast road swing, and with a trip to Oakland on deck, a win tonight would help stave off a lengthy stumble.  It's a team that's ripe for the picking, and a game that this team needs to win.

14/15 NBA Season
(32-27, 15-16 road)
(20-39, 12-18 home)
March 3rd, 2015
Pepsi Center | Denver, CO
8:00 CT
Fox Sports Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Michael Carter-Williams PG Ty Lawson
Khris Middleton SG Randy Foye
Giannis Antetokounmpo SF Wilson Chandler
Ersan Ilyasova PF Danilo Gallinari
Zaza Pachulia C Kenneth Faried
2014/15 Advanced Stats
96.4 (14th)
Pace 98.3 (5th)
100.8 (23rd)
ORtg 100.2 (24th)
98.6 (2nd)
DRtg 105.3 (25th)

Opponent Coverage: Denver Stiffs | Denver Post

Game Coverage: Bucks vs Nuggets coverage

P.S. It's our fearless leader's birthday today.  So make sure you wish Frank Madden a happy one.  He's 87 and is very ornery.  Keep it short and sweet or we feel his wrath.  No one's heard from Dan at all today.  We believe Frank is holding him hostage until he gets pie.  For God's sake, someone get him some pie!