Game On: Bucks @ Pelicans in Defenseless bowl

Published: January 23, 2016

Expect a pretty high score tonight as two of the three worst defenses in the league clash tonight in New Orleans.  Both of these teams have been disappointments after their surges last year, but in some respects the Bucks have actually had the largest decline.  Bringing in Monroe for Zaza and dropping Jared Dudley for more minutes from Jabari Parker has resulted in their offense improving 5 spots from 26th last year to 21st this – and their defense falling from the 4th best in the league to the 29th.  Yikes.

So in a game that would have been pretty ugly last year, we can expect both teams to score at ease on one another.  Maybe not quickly, as the Bucks slow the game down a lot, but easily.

In injury news, the Bucks are pretty much healthy, while the Pelicans are down Eric Gordon. (not going to keep mentioning Pondexter anymore)

Keys to the Game

  • The Bucks still have Giannis, Khris Middleton and Michael Carter-Williams, which means lots of long arms and lots of deflections and turnovers.  The Bucks one shining beacon on defense is that they force a top-5 number of turnovers per game.  The Pels have to be patient, move the ball, and not try to get too fancy one on one.  If they do that, they will get clean looks.
  • Protect the defensive glass.  The Pelicans have quietly risen to 9th in the league on the defensive glass – but the Bucks are 10th best in the league at grabbing offensive rebounds – which is the starting point for most of their good offense.  The Pels need to win here.
  • Please, please, please don’t guard anyone but Khris Middleton and Jarryd Bayless on the perimeter.  If I see one Pelican player close out hard on MCW or Giannis or Jabari, I will hiss profanity and spew wrath.  The Bucks are bad shooters.  If they want to, let them.

Enjoy the game!

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