Dec 29, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) (left) drives for a shot as Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders (8) (right) defends during the first quarter at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: Getting Revved Back Up in the Motor City


With each team fresh off a surprising win over the Miami Heat, the Milwaukee Bucks (16-12) and Detroit Pistons (10-22) meet Sunday trying to keep their perfect weekends intact.

The Pistons topped the Heat at home by ten points Friday when Will Bynum and Charlie Villanueva came off the bench to score 43 points on 26 shots.

The Bucks regained the Central Division lead by beating Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, 104-85.  Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, while Luc Mbah a Moute had 19 of his own — while doing everything he could on the other end to harass LeBron James into six turnovers.

Milwaukee will face the touch task of bouncing back just 20 hours after an emotional win.  Their last three sets of back-to-back games have all started with wins but ended with disappointing losses to the Clippers, Grizzlies, and Cavaliers.

Projected Lineups:

Pistons: Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell, Greg Monroe
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Marquis Daniels, Luc Mbah a Moute, Larry Sanders

Injury Status:

Rodney Stuckey (sprained ankle): questionable

Stuckey missed the Heat game Friday with the injury.

A Piston to Watch?

This game is the first meeting of four between the two teams this season, but they did meet in the preseason. In that game, rookie Andre Drummond banged his way to seven offensive rebounds and 19 points. In limited minutes, he is still the Pistons’ leading offensive rebounder. The Bucks will need to put a body (or better yet, two) to keep him from creating easy second-chance points.

Some Stats:

Some how, some way, by some metric, Basketball Reference has the Bucks and Pistons as the #18 and #19 teams in their ranking system.  The Bucks are contenders for the division lead.  The Pistons are 10-22.  (Granted, these numbers don’t take into account the Heat game, but still…)

Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
Rk Team SRS ORtg DRtg Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA eFG% TOV% DRB% FT/FGA
18 Milwaukee Bucks -1.60 101.4 102.3 93.5 .464 13.3 27.5 .189 .473 15.1 71.5 .228
19 Detroit Pistons -2.00 104.0 106.0 90.0 .477 13.9 28.7 .214 .482 12.2 72.5 .212
League Average 0.00 105.1 105.1 91.8 .490 13.8 27.0 .208 .490 13.8 73.0 .208
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2012.

 

Honestly, by the Four Factor metrics, the two teams actually do look a lot alike.  But the Bucks are better at creating turnovers, something they did unfathomably well against the Heat. Milwaukee forced Miami into 21 turnovers while committing just five of their own.

Whether they can duplicate the same ball pressure on weary legs will likely determine whether they can end their slide in back-to-back games.

Tags: Andre Drummond Brandon Jennings Detroit Pistons Milwaukee Bucks