Bucks look for first win of preseason against Grizzlies
Playing their first home game on the new MECCA inspired court, the Bucks lost their home opener against the Bobcats 83 – 76.
Even though it was just a preseason game, it’s never good when you lose to a team like the Bobcats, who were lead by journeyman Jannero Pargo with 24 points. To make matters worse the Bobcats frontline were without newly acquired center Al Jefferson, arguably their best player. The Bucks also struggled to handle Bismack Biyombo on the boards, who finished with seven offensive rebounds and 21 rebounds overall.
An even tougher test comes on Tuesday when the Bucks play the Grizzlies in Memphis, who are 1-2 in the preseason this year. The Grizzlies bring back the same core that took them to the Western Conference Finals last year and yet again look to make a title run.
To supplement that core Memphis traded Darrell Arthur to Denver for Kosta Koufas and signed the amnestied Mike Miller. Koufas was Denver’s starting center last year and looks like a great addition of frontcourt depth. Miller is the shooting specialist that Memphis sorely needs and could provide a huge spark if, and this is a HUGE if, he can stay healthy.
With that here are a few things to look for during tonight’s game:
Frontcourt Battle: Tonight is going to be a good measuring stick for how much the Bucks young core in the frontcourt has developed this offseason. The Grizzlies might have the most formidable big man rotation in the league, starting with DPOY Marc Gasol and below-the-rim-player/guy-you-never-want-to-mess-with Zach Randolph. Even the backups Kosta Koufas and Ed Davis could start for a third of the teams in the league. This font line will surely test John Henson and Larry Sanders, especially their physicality. Both Henson and Sanders are slightly undersized in terms of weight and will be tested holding their ground versus the fearsome foursome of the Grizzlies on the block. Also with how Sanders performed on offense against the Bobcats (0-8 from the field for a whopping zero points), it will be interesting to see how he bounces back against Memphis.
Knight vs. Conley: Another game, another interesting point guard matchup for Brandon Knight. Conley quietly became a top-7 point guard last year, becoming a real threat on offense to supplement his already stellar defensive play. So far with the Bucks Knight has not been able to get his shot to fall (23% from the field, 1/8 from three) and the task is only going to be harder tonight with Conley guarding him. On defense Knight will have to work very hard to get through PnR’s and try to prevent Conley from getting into the paint.
Three Point Shooting: After starting out an abysmal 4-18 (22%) from 3, the Bucks have shot 42% over the last two games. During the offseason it looked like the Bucks had seven players with the potential to shoot over 40% from long range and these past two games have been encouraging. The sample size is extremely limited so not much should be made out of this quite yet, but if the Bucks can shoot threes at this rate then they will be a tough team to play every night.
The game is at 7 P.M. central time and will not be televised locally.