The Kings have fired coach Paul Westphal after two-plus seasons and a 2-5 start so far. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Game 6 Preview: Milwaukee Bucks (2-3) @ Sacramento (2-5) 9 PM CT

Offensive Efficiency:

Milwaukee: 96.5 (28th)
Sacramento: 98.5 (26th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Milwaukee: 95.2 (2nd)
Sacramento: 109.6 (27th)

Pace:
Milwaukee: 94.1 (6th)
Sacramento: 93.4 (8th)

Projected Lineups:

Kings: Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, J.J. Hickson, Chuck Hayes (Wild Card: DeMarcus Cousins?)
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Stephen Jackson, Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden

Thanks a lot, Geoff Petrie.

The Bucks were going to have a decent chance to hit .500 again tonight.  For a moment, they were slated to face a floundering team playing their third game in three nights.  They were also going to play a team that the Nuggets thrashed last night.  They were getting an opponent racked by internal strife as the dispute between DeMarcus Cousins and head coach Paul Westphal lingered on.  The biggest storyline outside of Cousins v. Westphal was going to be John Salmons facing the team that dumped him.

Then Petrie fired Westphal earlier this afternoon.  Now who do the Bucks play tonight?

If the Kings can rally around the new circumstances (they just had a players’ meeting run by veterans Francisco Garcia and Chuck Hayes), then perhaps they can expose the flaws in the Bucks.  Interim head coach Keith Smart will lead the team in place of Westphal.  Suddenly, instead of being the underdog, the Kings are the unknown.

The Bucks, for their part, need to end the trend toward offensive ineptitude.  After decent offensive showings in their first three games, they have been ice cold in road losses to Denver and Utah.  Fortunately for Milwaukee, the Kings don’t defend as well as the Nuggets or Jazz.

Scott Skiles will be choosing players from a short bench.  Luc Mbah a Moute (knee), Andrew Bogut (personal reasons), and Mike Dunleavy (groin) are out.  Beno Udrih (shoulder) could possibly return to action tonight, and the Bucks have recalled Darington Hobson from the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants, who oddly enough were also making a West Coast trip (through Reno).

Bogut’s agent, David Bauman, released a statement earlier today saying that Bogut’s absence was not health-related.  Bogut has returned to Australia to deal with the matter and could potentially miss a few more games.

 

Tags: Andrew Bogut Beno Udrih DeMarcus Cousins Keith Smart Luc Mbah A Moute Milwaukee Bucks Paul Westphal Sacramento Kings

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