Nov 3, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (17) battles Milwaukee Bucks center Samuel Dalembert (21) for position during the game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks defeated the Cavaliers 105-102. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: Riding High and Limping into Cleveland


The Bucks enter the game Friday against Cleveland riding a three-game winning streak, but riddled by injuries that have poked a number of holes in their lineup.  They look to extend the streak to four with a roster that could potentially have as few as nine active players (though it will likely be more like ten or eleven).

In the first matchup between the two teams in the regular season, it took a buzzer-beating three-point shot from Brandon Jennings to push the Bucks to a 105-102 win.

Projected Lineups:

Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving, C.J. Miles, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Marquis Daniels, Luc Mbah a Moute (?), Larry Sanders (?)

Injury Status:

Mike Dunleavy : out (bruised left knee)
Beno Udrih: out (right ankle sprain)
Tobias Harris: out (right elbow laceration)
Ekpe Udoh: questionable (left wrist sprain)
Larry Sanders: probable (illness)
Doron Lamb: probable (illness)

If Udoh and/or Sanders are healthy, then they may replace Dalembert and/or Luc Mbah a Moute in the starting lineup.  It’s difficult to predict how Skiles might mix and match if only one of the Udoh/Sanders pair can start.  With a shortage of wings, he may need to start Dalembert and save Mbah a Moute for minutes at small forward.

Tobias Harris lacerated his arm against Sacramento and will be out seven to ten days.

A tweet:

 

Doron Lamb‘s illness lends a perfectly reasonable explanation to a perfect abomination of a game. Lamb missed all ten shots he took: eight from the field and two from the free-throw line. If he is absent, the Bucks are dangerously thin at the 1-2-3 positions — they’ll only have Jennings, Monta Ellis, Marquis Daniels, and Luc Mbah a Moute

Jennings and Ellis have been workhorses over the past week.  Each logged over 40 minutes in wins against Brooklyn and Sacramento.  For Ellis, it’s a throwback to his heavy minutes loads in Golden State.  In 2010-11, he had nine games with 48 or more minutes played.

Some stats

The Cavaliers are a good rebounding Varejao, er, team.  Anderson Varejao leads the NBA in rebounding (14.8 per game), while amassing the highest totals in BOTH offensive and defensive rebounds.

Other than that, the Cavaliers haven’t been good, but that could be because their best player, Kyrie Irving, has only played in 12 of the their 20 games. Irving isn’t much of a defender, though, so his absence in no way excuses the fact that the Cavs sit dead last in opponent effective field goal percentage (.520).

Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
Rk Team SRS ORtg DRtg Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA eFG% TOV% DRB% FT/FGA
17 Milwaukee Bucks -0.64 103.0 103.3 93.6 .472 12.7 27.2 .180 .482 15.2 72.5 .236
27 Cleveland Cavaliers -5.98 101.4 107.9 91.9 .457 14.2 31.2 .187 .520 15.1 73.7 .245
League Average 0.00 104.9 104.9 92.0 .488 13.9 27.0 .211 .488 13.9 73.0 .211
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/13/2012.

 

Cleveland won’t offer much in the way of rim protection, so perhaps the Bucks will be able to work their way to the restricted area in this game for high-percentage shots — especially off the pick-and-roll. Brandon Jennings matched a career-high in assists in the first game with Cleveland, but Wednesday, Monta Ellis was the Bucks’ primary on-the-ball playmaker. He had 11 assists, including five to Luc Mbah a Moute.

Tags: Anderson Varejao Brandon Jennings Drew Gooden Milwaukee Bucks