The Milwaukee Bucks, winners of six of their last eight games, travel to Detroit to take on a reeling Pistons team Friday. The Pistons, losers of 17 of their last 19 games, are coming off their first competitive game in some time — a 99-96 loss in New Jersey.
This game is one that the Bucks need to win as they hunt down a playoff spot. The Bucks have already beaten the Pistons twice this season, including a decisive victory earlier in the week.
Milwaukee: 102.5 (17th)
Detroit: 97.8 (26th)
Milwaukee: 102.4 (16th)
Detroit: 110.1 (29th)
Milwaukee: 92.4 (10th)
Detroit: 87.6 (30th)
Detroit: Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell, Greg Monroe
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Shaun Livingston, Carlos Delfino, Luc Mbah a Moute, Drew Gooden
Box Score Advantage: Assist-to-Turnover Ratio
The Pistons lead the league in with 393 turnovers, while the Bucks rank 8th in the NBA with 351 turnovers forced.
If the Bucks can turn miscues into easy points, they can deflate any hopes that the Pistons have of competing in this game.
On the other side of the coin, the Pistons have allowed a greater number of assists than any other team (548). The Bucks ball movement has been terrific lately; they should have another chance to shine in the Palace.
Matchup to watch: Drew Gooden / Luc Mbah a Moute vs. Greg Monroe
The one Piston who poses a real threat to the Bucks is Greg Monroe. In two games against Milwaukee, Monroe is averaging 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 assists, while shooting 71% from the field. Expect Scott Skiles to give each defender a turn at guarding Monroe. If the Bucks can stop Monroe, it will put a lot of pressure on an otherwise shaky Detroit offense to generate points.
Old cliche, true cliche: Win the games you are supposed to win.