The last time these two teams met the Pacers were having a hard time scoring.
Missing Danny Granger, their leading scorer from a season ago, Indiana hadn’t quite figured out what their offense should be in his absence. They limped into Milwaukee with a 3-5 record while trying to lick the wounds of a brutal 74-72 loss to Toronto.
The Bucks subsequently flattened the Pacers with a 33-17 first quarter and never looked back in a wire-to-wire win.
Expect things to be different this time around. Paul George, the swingman that many anticipated would pick up the slack with Granger out, just won the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award. He averaged 23.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks in week where the Pacers won all three of their games.
For the Bucks, Mike Dunleavy should be back after missing seven games. He went through a full practice with the Bucks yesterday and is listed as probable for tonight’s matchup.
Last night, a Chicago loss moved Milwaukee (12-10) to within 0.5 games of the Central Division lead. But it moved Indiana (13-11) to exactly the same spot too. Tonight’s loser will fall to third place in the division, while the winner will move to first or second, depending on how the Bulls fare in Boston.
Pacers: George Hill, Gerald Green, Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Marquis Daniels, Luc Mbah a Moute, Larry Sanders
Lance Stephenson (sprained right ankle): day-to-day/unlikely
Roy Hibbert (bruised left thigh): day-to-day/likely
Danny Granger (sore left knee): out
Mike Dunleavy (bruised left knee): probable
Tobias Harris (right forearm laceration): out
Beno Udrih (right ankle sprain): out
The four-factor stats for the Bucks and Pacers give the edge to Milwaukee in both halves of the turnover battle. The Pacers, however, are much better at preventing opponents from making their shots. The Bucks badly need the Udoh/Sanders pair to start paying off again. The Clippers devastated the thinner Bucks inside on Saturday.
|Offense Four Factors||Defense Four Factors|
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 18, 2012
Harris injured his arm against Sacramento when Jason Thompson’s teeth met Tobias’ arm. Somehow this injury looks worse than a laceration that took four stitches. But those tooth mark cuts are tricky because of the higher risk of infection. Plus, if the brace got Harris out of signing autographs with his right arm, then it was worth. Plus, he needs a fair bit of practice going to his left anyway.
And John Henson drew a deer
Submitted without comment.
Okay, just one comment. Fear this deer.