The Bucks tackle the first part of a Texas two-step Tuesday, when they travel to Dallas for a game with the Mavericks.
Both teams shared in fourth-quarter failure in their most recent outings. For the Bucks, it was blowing a double-digit lead late in the fourth quarter. The Los Angeles Lakers edged out the Mavericks Sunday when Kobe Bryant quashed the Mavericks with 14 points in the final quarter — making all five of his shots in the process.
But no shot was bigger than the one Bryant took at Mavericks owner Mark Cuban after the game. Bryant responded to a recent Cuban quote that the Lakers would be better off if they amnestied Kobe’s enormous contract.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 24, 2013
Sixth man Vince Carter has developed his three-point shot into a weapon in Dallas. Despite coming off the bench, Carter is taking 5.0 three-pointers per game and hitting them at a 41% clip. By comparison, star forward Dirk Nowitzki is averaging just 2.9 three-point attempts per game — at a 42% success rate — since he started his season just before Christmas.
Looking at the players in the Mavericks’ rotation, the Bucks may be able to get away with a three-guard lineup (featuring newly acquired J.J. Redick) when backup Carter gets slotted in the small forward spot, but would have to be careful about using when starter Shawn Marion is in the game. Even in his 14th season, Marion is one of the better rebounding small forwards, especially on the offensive side.
Dallas won the sole game between the two teams last season, 102-76. A big chunk of the cast of characters from that game won’t be around to see this one, guys like Jason Terry, Shaun Livingston, Yi Jianlian, Stephen Jackson, Lamar Odom and The Jons (Leuer and Brockman). That group also includes Darington Hobson, who shot 0-of-8 FG in his biggest-ever slice of NBA action (18 minutes) before getting waived by the Bucks three weeks later.
Mavericks: Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Bernard James
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders
Even though the Bucks sit eighth in the East and the Mavericks reside in the 11th spot out West, the two teams sport nearly identical differentials per 100 possessions (Milwaukee: -1.2, Dallas: -1.1).
The Mavericks are the third-worst team in the league when it comes to offensive rebounding rate, so it would be nice to see Milwaukee tighten up their box outs on the defensive glass and come out ahead for once.
|Offense Four Factors||Defense Four Factors|
Brooklyn beat them up on the offensive glass in consecutive games before Zaza Pachulia seared Samuel Dalembert with seven offensive rebounds in the second quarter, setting a Hawks team record for offensive rebounds in a quarter in the process.The Bucks have won just two of their last 11 games, falling out of the Central Division race in the process. The Indiana Pacers now lead Milwaukee by 8.0 games after winning four straight while the Bucks floundered. The Bucks do still hold 3.5 and 4.0 game leads over Philadelphia and Toronto, respectively, in the race for the East’s eighth seed.
Following this game, the Bucks travel to Houston for a game against Carlos Delfino and the Houston Rockets Wednesday.