Game On: Bucks @ Pelicans

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Published: March 7, 2014
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This is one of those games that you feel entitled to a win.  The Bucks are the most lowly team in the league, and even with the roster limited by injuries, the Pelicans have to be better than the Bucks, right?  Right?

Probably not.  The Bucks, by their standard, have had a very good last 10 games.  For the first 48 games of the season, Milwaukee was the worst offense in the league, posting well short of 100 points per possession.  Their defense was identical to the Pelicans.  The last 10 games, though?  The Bucks have been on fire, scoring 108.2 points per 100 possessions against a slate of opponents that aren’t all patsies.  Their defense continues to be horrid at 110.3 – but here’s the rub:

Over their last ten, the Pelicans have been good for 104.2 and 113.7 respectively.  So worse at both ends of the floor.

Don’t expect this to be a cakewalk – which could make it be a fun, close game to watch.

Keys to the Game

  • Guard play will matter.  Brandon Knight is having one of those stretches that made people think he could be a really good guard.  He’s averaging 22 and 6 over the last ten and shooting very well from all distances.  The still underrated Ramon Sessions has also given the Bucks a boost off the bench, scoring efficiently and getting into the paint.  The Pelicans have to match their production with Gordon, Evans and Rivers/Roberts. (Because we all know our defense isn’t stopping them.)
  • Davis will have to shut down Ilyasova.  Ersan is the one real threat the Bucks have in the frontcourt, and his shooting can keep them in game.  Davis will need to close out on Ersan and make him put it on the floor.  Once Ilyasova is on the move, Davis has the advantage.
  • I’ve given up on asking for less fouls, so . . . attack the bigs on the move.  The Milwaukee frontcourt is young and not skilled moving with the basketball.  If the Pelicans attack there, they can get steals for easy points.

Both teams love to foul.  Expect a choppy game!

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