Apr 1, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson (9) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Milwaukee won 131-102. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: Limping to the Finish Line in Charlotte

The worst team in the playoffs meets the worst team out of the playoffs.  Sometimes April basketball is uninspired phenomenon.

The Bucks scored a season-high 131 points in a victory over the Bobcats last week.  Milwaukee needs a win tonight with two tough games remaining: one at home against Denver and one on the road in Oklahoma City. They can’t enter the playoffs losing six straight overall and ten straight on the road, can they? Can they?

The biggest goal the Bucks need to set for themselves is finding a way to rest Monta Ellis a bit.  There’s an argument to be made about continuing to play him: his jump shot is ON compared to what it was a few months ago and sitting may disrupt his rhythm.  But there’s no need to play him 44 minutes as they did last night.

Ellis produced prolifically in his first stint as the starter at point guard: it was the Bucks’ first 25+ points, 15+ assist, 5+ steal game in over 25 years.

The problem, of course, is that the Bucks have only four guards.  With Jennings out, it was down to three: Monta, J.J. Redick, and Ish Smith.  That’s it.  Marquis Daniels can play guard in a pinch, but he may miss the game too. He is listed as questionable with lower leg pain. Expect Luc Mbah a Moute to start if Daniels sits out.

Expect fatigue:  this is the Bucks’ fourth road game in five nights. That’s a cruddy way to finish a season.

Projected Lineups

Bobcats: Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Josh McRoberts, Bismack Biyombo
Bucks: Monta Ellis, J.J. Redick, Luc Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson

Injuries

Marquis Daniels (right lower leg pain): questionable
Larry Sanders (left hip pain): doubtful
Brandon Jennings (sore left Achilles’ tendon): doubtful

DeSagana Diop, Brendan Haywood, and Ramon Sessions are out for the Bobcats.

Some numbers

Offense Four Factors Defense Four Factors
Rk Team MOV ORtg DRtg Pace eFG% TOV% ORB% FT/FGA eFG% TOV% DRB% FT/FGA
18 Milwaukee Bucks* -1.49 103.6 105.2 94.7 .477 12.8 27.9 .175 .493 14.5 71.5 .200
30 Charlotte Bobcats -9.94 101.1 111.9 91.5 .456 13.2 25.9 .232 .525 13.3 70.5 .199
League Average 0.00 105.9 105.9 92.0 .496 13.7 26.5 .204 .496 13.7 73.5 .204
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/13/2013.

The Bobcats have the league’s worst defense and second worst offense.  Bioymbo gives them a semblance of a defensive presence inside, but Milwaukee thrived when he got in foul trouble early in their most recent meeting.  Look for them to attack inside early again using Ellis and John Henson.

Tags: Charlotte Bobcats Milwaukee Bucks

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