Ricky Rubio drives past Shaun Livingston in a preseason game, Dec. 17, 2011, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

Game 2 Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves (0-1) @ Milwaukee Bucks (0-1) 7:30 PM CT

Offensive Efficiency:
Minnesota: 102.3 (15th)
Milwaukee: 100.3 (21st)

Defensive Efficiency:
Minnesota: 106.4 (20th)
Milwaukee: 101.4 (13th)

Minnesota:  97.7 (6th)
Milwaukee:  94.7 (8th)

Projected Lineups:

Bobcats: Luke Ridnour, Wes Johnson, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Darko Milicic

Bucks: Jennings, Jackson, Dunleavy, Ilyasova, Bogut

After starting on the road for the 27th consecutive season, the Bucks return to Milwaukee tonight for their home opener.  They will face their preseason opponent, the Minnesota Timberwolves, who also look to turn things around after losing their first game.

The Timberwolves lost 104-100 to Oklahoma City on Monday night, dropping a decision against the Thunder after erasing a 12-point third-quarter deficit.  They took the lead with three minutes left and later clinched it when Kendrick Perkins grabbed a defensive rebound in the final seconds, got fouled, and hit both free throws to make it a two-possession game.

In addition to current starter Luke Ridnour, the Timberwolves now feature point guards Ricky Rubio and J.J. Barea.  Should Minnesota attempt to feature a multi-PG lineup, the Bucks could counter with 6’7″ guard Shaun Livingston.  Coach Skiles noted Livingston’s post presence after last night’s loss.

“We were trying to get some switches and get their point guards on him, and he was able to shoot right over them.  He is very good at that.”

Minnesota won both preseason matches against the Bucks, including a 85-84 victory in Milwaukee where the Timberwolves’ starters crushed the Bucks reserves to score the final 12 points of the game.  Kevin Love led Minnesota with 22 points and 16 rebounds.

Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman is expected to miss tonight’s game to after the recent passing of his mother-in-law.

The Bucks will try to rebound after losing 96-95 to Charlotte on Monday.  Milwaukee outplayed the Bobcats in three out of the four quarters, but got walloped 30-14 in the third quarter.

“We had a pretty respectable first half and finished strong”, said Skiles. “They (the Bobcats) took it to us in the third quarter and we had a hard time responding. They got all over the offensive glass and we were flat-footed. They were quicker and more athletic. They outplayed us in the third quarter and took control of the game.”

If the Bucks can avoid a similar fall tonight, they will have a chance to even out their season record.

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Tags: Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota Timberwolves Ricky Rubio Scott Skiles Shaun Livingston

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