- Tip Off: 7: 30 PM PT
- Television: CSN-BA
Milwaukee Bucks Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 100.4 (22nd in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 101.4 (tied for 10th in NBA)
- Points: Monta Ellis, 18.8 PPG
- Rebounds: Larry Sanders, 9.1 RPG
- Assists: Brandon Jennings, 6.6 APG
- Steals: Monta Ellis, 2.0 SPG
- Blocks: Larry Sanders, 3.2 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Samuel Dalembert, 57.1% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Ersan Ilyasova, 43.7% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: Bucksketball.
Preview: After suffering defeat by the hands of the Houston Rockets (34-29) last night, the Golden State Warriors (35-28) hope to bounce back when they host the Milwaukee Bucks (30-29) tonight at Oracle Arena.
The Bucks will be playing the second game of their three-game California road trip. On Wednesday, they were soundly beaten by the Los Angeles Clippers (44-20) in a contest that produced one of the most comical and yet entertaining alley oops of the season.
Mark Jackson has a score to settle with a Milwaukee team that beat his squad in late January.
More importantly though, Golden State needs to stop feeding off cream puffs and actually defeat a team with playoff aspirations. The Dubs’ play in the past few weeks has just been brutal.
Consider this interesting nugget: their overtime victory against the San Antonio Spurs (48-15) on February 22nd was their first victory against a team with a winning record since beating the Oklahoma City Thunder (46-16) on January 23rd. By my math, the GSW have two wins versus teams with winning records in the last month and half.
Here is the list of juggernauts Golden State has defeated since knocking off Kevin Durant’s Thunder: the Toronto Raptors (24-39) twice, Cleveland Cavaliers (21-41), Dallas Mavericks (28-33), Phoenix Suns (21-41) twice, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves (21-37) and Sacramento Kings (22-42).
The Warriors have struggled defensively since defeating the Thunder in late January and that would be putting it mildly. Since that victory, the Dubs have been allowing 106.5 points per 100 possessions per NBA.com’s advanced stats tool. That last figure would put them in the league’s bottom five.
Thus, a good showing against an offensively challenged Bucks team almost seems like a must at this point.
The Bucks are a less than stellar team — with a winning record no less — that spends a fair amount of time lounging on the perimeter shooting mid-range jumpers.
The main offenders in this respect are Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.
Both are good talents with a great knack for shot creation. Whether it’s coming off screens or simple off the dribble pull up jumpers, the Bucks’ guard tandem can manufacture just about any shot they wish. Possessing such a skill typically pays off when the shot or game clock is set to expire and the team needs a semi-decent look at the basket.
But on the other hand, that shot-creating talent can also be a curse.
Players that can find creative ways to shoot the ball aren’t always efficient scorers. Indeed, several of these ballers can often favor quantity over quality. The names of Rudy Gay, Monta Ellis and Russell Westbrook generally come to mind whenever the topic comes up.
Ellis and Jennings might just be the most inefficient guard tandem ever seen. They are the equivalent of Allen Iverson playing alongside himself in the backcourt.
Both are undersized subpar defenders that also have a slight penchant for low percentage shots.
But don’t let that fool you, otherwise Milwaukee will have you beat.
Ellis is great at curling off screens for jumpers and also reads defenses well enough that he can anticipate when an extra defender is about to jump out at him. With the added attention, he feeds the open player within a split-second of receiving the ball, which leads to a score.
In addition, if opposing defenses rotate away from the corners during the curl action or in their pick-and-roll coverage, they are liable to get beat from deep. Bucks head coach Jim Boylan stations shooters in the corners where his team converts 37.5 percent of those treys per NBA.com’s advanced stats tool.
Should the Dubs catch the Bucks on an average scoring night, they are fairly easy to defend given their reliance on mid-range jumpers. Ellis and Jennings are trigger-happy players converting 41.2 percent and 40.3 percent from the field respectively.
But if one of them gets hot? Bombs away.
And that’s what makes tonight’s contest so fascinating: on paper the Warriors should be able to handle the Bucks at home. But games are never won on paper.
Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected].