Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: Before They Were Pelicans

Nov 17, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis (11) goes for a layup against New Orleans Hornets forward Ryan Anderson (33) at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Update (12:15 PM CT): Evidently the Bucks’ team notes were wrong… or at least needed updating.  Mike Dunleavy IS with the team and is probable to play tonight after going through pre-game warmups in New Orleans.

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The Bucks try for their second win of the season against the New Orleans Hornets. In their first, the Bucks untracked Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings together for the first time in 2012-13. But their defense slacked, and the upstart Hornets pushed the Bucks all the way to the buzzer.

Larry Sanders saved that 117-113 win with a block of Ryan Anderson in the final moments.  With 15 blocks (plus 28 points and 28 rebounds) in his last two games combined, expect Sanders to figure prominently in the outcome of the contest tonight.

Projected Lineups:

Hornets: Greivis Vasquez, Roger Mason, Jr., Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Anderson, Robin Lopez
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Tobias Harris, Marquis Daniels (?), John Henson, Ekpe Udoh

The Hornets will play without their two best players: Eric Gordon, who has missed the entire season to date with a knee injury, and über-rookie Anthony Davis, who scored 28 in the first Bucks/Hornets matchup.

For the Bucks, neither Mike Dunleavy (left knee pain) nor Beno Udrih (right ankle injury) made the trip to New Orleans.  Expect Doron Lamb and Marquis Daniels to play a bigger role than they did when the teams met in Milwaukee.

Stats, Specifically Those of an Advanced Variety

Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
Rk Team SRS ORtg DRtg Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA eFG% TOV% DRB% FT/FGA
16 Milwaukee Bucks -1.18 102.1 102.8 94.3 .478 12.9 25.0 .159 .486 15.4 74.0 .244
25 New Orleans Hornets -5.04 103.4 110.9 88.6 .486 14.7 26.6 .213 .518 12.6 72.7 .180
League Average 0.00 104.6 104.6 91.9 .488 14.1 27.2 .210 .488 14.1 72.8 .210
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/3/2012.

 

The Hornets rank 30th out of 30 teams in defensive rating — and that’s a stat that gets worse with Davis out of the lineup.

While the loss of bench ballhandlers Udrih and Dunleavy hurts the Bucks some, Milwaukee doesn’t commit many turnovers (12.9% of possessions, 5th best in NBA) and New Orleans doesn’t force many either (12.6%, 28th best in NBA).

Two Telling Tweets from John Schuhmann…

Luc Mbah a Moute put together a stunning first game of the season, impacting it in his usual way: defense.

A pair of those Boston makes were Paul Pierce scoring on Hall-of-Fame caliber moves over Mbah a Moute near the end of Luc’s appearance which bridged the third and fourth quarters. Mbah a Moute had lost his legs at that point, but he had done amazingly well to that point, especially considering that he hasn’t had a 5-on-5 practice yet since returning from injury.

Monta Ellis must stop dribbling into three-point shots.  Normally, three-point shots rank among the most efficient ways to score.  Not so for the PUJOMEFT (Pull Up Jumper of Monta Ellis from Three).  PUJOMEFTs often cause pain. PUJOMEFTs may induce tears.  PUJOMEFTs that careen haphazardly may be dangerous to unsuspecting rebounders.  Stop PUJOMEFTs now.

… And one from Drew Gooden

Topics: Anthony Davis, Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis

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