For the second game in a row, the Milwaukee Bucks face a bad basketball team with a big man people feel bad for. Yesterday it was Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Today? Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets.
Winners of two in a row, Jason Kidd looks to complete a season-sweep of his former team when his Bucks visit the Barclays Center to face the Nets.
Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker didn't have the flashiest of games against the Pelicans, the rest of Milwaukee's starters delivered in a game that shouldn't have been that close for the Bucks anyway. Parker recorded 15 points on 10 shots, while Antetokounmpo added 18, but the combo shot just 9-for-25 from the field and combined for 11 of Milwaukee's 14 total turnovers as a team.
Fortunately, Khris Middleton picked up the slack and nearly recorded a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Middleton along with Jerryd Bayless (17 points, which included seven in the fourth) sparked a late run to give the Pelicans loss No. 41 on the season. Greg Monroe posted another double-double in his second start since returning to the starting lineup with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Pelicans, Anthony Davis was a beast, finishing with 29 points and 11 rebounds.
Injury report: John Henson (sore lower back) is listed as out for tonight's game after being probable yesterday. Kidd noted before Saturday's game that he's hoping Henson can go Tuesday or Thursday this week. Otherwise it's the usual cast of absences: Greivis Vasquez (ankle), Michael Carter-Williams (hip), O.J. Mayo (ankle), and Steve Novak (knee).
There's no better way to summarize the Nets' season than noting that they've now lost to the Philadelphia 76ers twice. The depleted 76ers snapped a 13-game losing streak and beat the Nets 95-89 on Friday. Philadelphia had seven players finish in double-figures, with Carl Landry leading the way with 16.
Lopez finished the game with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Thaddeus Young added 21 and nine boards for the Nets. As a team, Brooklyn has lost three straight games, a rough way to end a long nine-game road trip that started a respectable 3-3. Still, it's tough to expect much more from a talent-starved franchise that recently bought out Joe Johnson and has been missing starting point guard Jarrett Jack (knee) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) for an extended period.
The Nets don't foul on defense (#1 in opponent free throw rate), but they're below average in every other four-factor category on both ends and rank in the league's bottom five in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Like the Bucks, the Nets shoot rarely from three point range but are fairly respectable when they do. Not surprisingly, containing Lopez and Young is the only real challenge for opposing defenses, but that hasn't stopped the duo from posting strong numbers all season. Lopez averages 21 points, eight boards and two blocks per game on strong efficiency (56.4%) while Young has added 15.1 points and a team-high nine boards per night.
|2015/16 NBA Season|
(18-47, 11-22 home)
|March 13, 2016|
|Barclays Center | Brooklyn, NY|
|FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ|
|Jerryd Bayless||PG||Donald Sloan|
|Khris Middleton||SG||Markel Brown|
|Jabari Parker||SF||Wayne Ellington|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||PF||Thaddeus Young|
|Greg Monroe||C||Brook Lopez|
|2015/16 Advanced Stats|
|94.5 (22nd)||Pace||94.8 (21st)|
|104.4 (23rd)||ORtg||102.5 (28th)|
|108.2 (22nd)||DRtg||109.4 (27th)|