UPDATE: Days after trade rumors surrounding Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams began to get legs, Jason Kidd is throwing a big curveball by bringing both guys off the bench tonight. Miles Plumlee and O.J. Mayo will start in their place. Our Aron Yohannes reports from the BC:
Kidd on the lineup change: We're going to try something different. It's nothing that Michael or Moose have done.— Aron Yohannes (@AronYohannes) February 9, 2016
Kidd: We've done this before with Michael and O.J. We trust O.J. as the point guard, he can get us into the offense.— Aron Yohannes (@AronYohannes) February 9, 2016
Kidd said he talked to Monroe about coming off the bench: I think he's all for the team and he understands what we're trying to do.— Aron Yohannes (@AronYohannes) February 10, 2016
Coming home normally provides a little bit of comfort for the Milwaukee Bucks. They need some right now.
Losers of seven of their last eight games, including a season-high five in a row, the Bucks hope to rediscover their winning ways when they welcome the surging Boston Celtics inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Tuesday evening.
A three-game road trip on the West Coast was less than an ideal one for the Bucks, who flew back to Milwaukee winless in Sacramento, Portland and Utah. The loss at the Moda Center in Portland stands out the most from the trip after the Bucks lost 107-95, with the Blazers taking advantage of the Milwaukee's defense. C.J. McCollum led the Blazers with 30 points, while Damian Lillard finished with 14 points and 12 assists.
The last game of the trip vs. the Jazz was easily the Bucks' best outing considering they pushed Utah late in the game. Minus 20 ugly turnovers and allowing second-year pro Rodney Hood to go off for 23 points, the Bucks nearly pulled off a win if it weren't for a late missed 3-pointer from Khris Middleton. Now the Bucks return home hoping to not be in a close matchup against the Celtics, who have played well in those situations.
The bench unit for the Bucks received a bit of good news Monday when head coach Jason Kidd noted that guard O.J. Mayo will probably play in Tuesday's game. Mayo has missed the Bucks' last 11 games because of left hamstring soreness. Mayo's hamstrings have been bothersome all season unfortunately, but his return should hopefully help Milwaukee's 29th-ranked bench score a few more points. Jerryd Bayless sustained a hyperextend left knee against the Jazz but he is also probable tonight. The news is unfortunately less promising for John Henson, who is expected to miss his sixth-straight game because of a sore lower back.
Led by reigning Eastern Conference player of the week Isaiah Thomas, Boston has won four games in a row and nine of 10 overall.
Having already won handily in Milwaukee once this season, the Celtics land in the Cream City coming off one of their most impressive offensive outputs of the season Sunday in Sacramento. Boston scored 46 points by the end of the first quarter, shot 56 percent from the field and hit 13 shots from deep in their 128-119 win over the Kings. Not that big point totals have been unusual for Boston this season; they enter Tuesday night's game with the league's 11th ranked offense and have topped 100 points in 15 of their last 16 games.
Leading the way on that end is Thomas, who led the Celtics to a 4-0 record last week with his 20.3 points, seven assists and 4.5 rebounds. The first-time All-Star hasn't done it all himself, though. Fellow starter Avery Bradley has averaged 18 points over the last three games while Tyler Zeller scored a season-high 17 and Jared Sullinger added 21 in that matchup against the Kings. Bradley hit the game-winning three for Boston at the buzzer in their road win against Cleveland last Friday.
The Celtics rank second in steals and first in opponent turnovers, numbers that should be a major concern for a turnover-prone team like the Bucks. If Milwaukee fails to take care of the ball, stop Thomas from attacking the rim and don't put up a good effort on the boards, they may well be on their way to loss No. 6.
The Bucks remain 13th in the East and are now 6.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the East. They currently have a 15 percent chance of landing in the top three of the draft lottery.
On the Celtics: Celtics Blog
|15/16 NBA Season|
|February 9, 2016|
|BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI
|Fox Sports Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ|
|O.J. Mayo||PG||Isaiah Thomas|
|Khris Middleton||SG||Avery Bradley|
|Jabari Parker||SF||Jae Crowder|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||PF||Amir Johnson|
|Miles Plumlee||C||Jared Sullinger|
|2015/16 Advanced Stats|