Game 9 Preview: San Antonio Spurs (6-3) @ Milwaukee Bucks (2-6) 7:30 PM CT

Offensive Efficiency:
San Antonio: 109.7 (1st)
Milwaukee: 98.1 (27th)

Defensive Efficiency:
San Antonio: 104.4 (20th)
Milwaukee: 100.6 (11th)

Pace:
San Antonio:  91.8 (15th)
Milwaukee:  93.4 (7th)

Projected Lineups:
San Antonio: Tony Parker, Gary Neal, Richard Jefferson, DaJuan Blair, Tim Duncan
Milwaukee: Brandon Jennings, Stephen Jackson, Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Andrew Bogut  

Andrew Bogut is expected to return to action tonight against San Antonio.  For a reeling Milwaukee Bucks team, his insertion back into the rotation can’t happen quickly enough.

After four competitive losses on a Western Conference road trip, the Bucks traveled to Phoenix for one last forgettable road game.  Steve Nash and the Suns gashed a non-competitive Bucks defense and the Bucks flew home without a single win in five games.

While the Spurs (6-3) currently sport a better record than the Bucks (2-6), the two teams share a common trait: both are undefeated at home and winless on the road.  Milwaukee will look to continue that trend tonight, while ending every other ugly tendency that emerged during the road swing.

The Bucks will get Bogut back tonight, but Mike Dunleavy (groin injury) is still out.  Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) and Beno Udrih (shoulder) are listed as day-to-day with their ailments.

The Spurs have a different persona than in years past.  Gone are the defensive stalwarts that perennially contended for the Western Conference berth in the Finals.  They have been replaced with an offensively efficient squad (currently 1st in the NBA) that cruised similarly through last season before getting swept in the playoffs by Memphis.

A hand injury will keep Manu Ginobili from playing for a month.  While part of the responsibility will shift to Parker and Duncan, rookie Kawhi Leonard could become a primary option in the rotation.  In his most recent game, a loss in Oklahoma City, the 6’7″ forward scored 13 points and nabbed 10 rebounds in 34 minutes.

The Bucks current sit 11th in the Eastern Conference standings, and tonight’s game has a make-or-break feel to it for the Bucks.  Will they be the team that wins at home and/or wins with Andrew Bogut in the lineup?  Or will they be the team that loses a sixth straight game to slip further away from the playoff hunt?

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Tags: Andrew Bogut Kawhi Leonard Milwaukee Bucks San Antonio Spurs

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