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Dec 12, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas (22) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks won 98-85. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: Vying to be Kings (or Sonics)

On paper, a game against the Sacramento Kings doesn’t pose the same threat as, say, a game against the Heat or the Thunder.

But since December 7, the Kings are 7-1 at home against visiting teams from the Eastern Conference.  They have wins over Toronto, Orlando, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Washington, and Charlotte.  The Miami Heat were the only East team to pull off a win in that stretch.

To add to the Bucks’ concern:  Ersan Ilyasova missed last night’s Golden State game with a knee bruise, J.J. Redick suffered a fourth-quarter ankle injury (from which he eventually returned) in the win, and Sacramento rested Saturday after beating the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

The Bucks are a better team than the Kings, to be sure, and they’re playing extremely well in the month of March, but they will have their hands full tonight.   Guard Isaiah Thomas has fared equally well in March, scoring over 17 points per game while shooting 51% from the field and 52% from three-point range.  He’s also developed into one of the league’s best free throw shooters.

Projected Lineups

Kings: Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, John Salmons, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins
Bucks: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Mike Dunleavy, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Larry Sanders

Some numbers

Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
17 Milwaukee Bucks -1.04 103.4 104.2 94.6 .477 13.0 27.6 .182 .484 14.7 70.4 .204
28 Sacramento Kings -5.83 105.1 111.6 93.2 .486 13.9 27.0 .211 .518 13.8 70.7 .232
League Average 0.00 105.6 105.6 92.0 .495 13.8 26.6 .204 .495 13.8 73.4 .204

The Kings surrender the third-highest effective field goal percentage in the NBA, so the Bucks should be able to find their favorite shots in their favorite places.  They also foul opponents at the third-worst rate (measured by FT/FGA).


Jerry Reynolds, who works as the color analyst on the Kings television broadcasts, has also been the team’s director of player personnel since 1994.

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Tags: John Salmons Milwaukee Bucks Monta Monta Ellis Sacramento Kings

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