Jan 11, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Drew Gooden (0) gets a pass away from Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva (31) at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: Born and Raised in South Detroit

Twice, the Bucks have faced Detroit this season while riding a winning streak and the momentum of a fresh, upset win.

Twice, Detroit has humbled the Bucks.

Milwaukee looks for their first win in three tries against the Pistons tonight.

Milwaukee and Detroit sit third and fourth in the Central Division.  In fact, the Pistons are 10-6 in their last 16 games, salvaging a dreadful 7-21 start to the season and pulling within four games of the Celtics for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Rookie man-child Andre Drummond has leant the Pistons a spark — since December 1, Drummond has hit 63% of his field goal attempts, while averaging a symmetric 8.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in just 22 minutes per game.

If he had enough minutes to qualify, Drummond’s 6.5 block percentage would rank him fifth in the NBA.  If you listed the top-5 reasons to watch the Pistons, Drummond would have to makeup at least 60% of that list.

But you’re probably not watching though.

The game will not be broadcast locally on TV. In fact, this game is the first of two against the Pistons in a two-week span not to be televised on the Bucks’ side. The game will be shown on Fox Sports Detroit/NBA League Pass, and 620 WTMJ will carry Ted Davis and the radio broadcast.

For the Bucks, Brandon Jennings needs to assert himself early in the game.  In the two games since missing out on the East All-Star reserves (a squad he now may have an outside shot at due to Rajon Rondo’s ACL injury), Jennings has yet to score a first-half field goal while taking just six attempts.

Projected Lineups

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

Injury Status

There aren’t any injuries of note for either side.  Did I just jinx something?

Some numbers

If anything, the numbers indicate that the Bucks have overachieved a bit this season, and the Pistons have underachieved.  Despite being 7.0 games behind the Bucks in the standings, Detroit’s stats look every good as Milwaukee’s.

Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
16 Milwaukee Bucks -0.62 -1.15 102.8 103.5 94.4 .472 13.1 28.1 .185 .479 14.7 71.1 .211
18 Detroit Pistons -1.18 -1.64 104.4 105.7 89.9 .486 14.2 29.1 .204 .483 12.6 72.5 .208
League Average 0.00 0.00 105.3 105.3 91.8 .492 13.7 26.9 .205 .492 13.7 73.1 .205

The big (and only) edge for the Bucks lies in turnovers.  If Larry Sanders can stay out of foul trouble, it should let the perimeter players roam and pressure the ball a bit more freely.  If Jim Boylan has to sub out Sanders early, this game gets a lot more difficult to win.

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Tags: Detroit Pistons Ersan Ilyasova Milwaukee Bucks

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