Boston: 107.6 points/100 possessions (14th)
Milwaukee: 101.0 points/100 possessions (30th)
Boston: 100.0 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Milwaukee: 102.8 points allowed/100 possessions (4th)
Probable Milwaukee starters:
Brandon Jennings, John Salmons, Carlos Delfino, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Larry Sanders
Thumbnail: The Celtics look to extend their winning streak to five games tonight by sending nine active players to Milwaukee to play the Bucks in the first ever “Injury Bowl.” Milwaukee has been beaten up just as bad as the Celtics this year when it comes to aches and pains and will be missing several key members of the frontcourt (Andrew Bogut, Drew Gooden, Ersan Illyasova) tonight in Wisconsin. Despite the injuries, the bad news for the Celtics is that this is the first team that really plays defense since they revamped 1/3 of the team’s bench last week. They were able to get away with the new guys lack of familiarity with the team’s plays against Western Conference foes, but tonight might be a different story.
WHAT THE BUCKS DO WELL:
Play defense. They are a bit of a carbon copy of the Celtics in this department, exceling in all of the defensive four factors (top 1o) except in allowing opponents to get to the line. Scott Skiles, as always, has this crew playing hard on this end of the floor, limiting three point attempts and shots at the rim. The Celtics offense hasn’t been challenged in about a week or so. That’ll change tonight, although it will help Mr. Bogut is out of the fold.
WHAT THE BUCKS DO POORLY:
Score the ball. They are dead last in FG percentage, 27th from downtown, and there’s no one on this roster than has been able to put the ball in the bucket consistently all year through a beat up year. The one good thing they do is not turn over the ball a lot on the offensive end, but are still incredibly mediocre at getting to the line and grabbing all those offensive boards off missed shots. Put it altogether and you get a team that scores barely 91 points per game.
PLAYER/S WHO MAKE ME WORRY:
Brandon Jennings No reliable backup point guard for C’s = me worrying
Corey Maggette The one guy who can score for this team efficently off the bench could wreak havoc against the shorthanded C’s if they don’t come to play defensively
PLAYER/S WHO DON’T MAKE ME WORRY:
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM THE C’S TONIGHT: Well given that tonight’s Celtics bench have played collectively about 27 games or so in a C’s uniform with 22 of those coming from Avery Bradley, the troops are in for a challenge tonight. The big thing is Doc will give these guys minutes (Green, Bradley, Pavlovic, Murphy) in order to keep the onus off his starters who have been overplayed in the past month. Any kind of solid outing from this quartet would do wonders for this team’s chances as it would for the starters legs, and I’m looking for Troy Murphy to make his first FG tonight in a Celtics uniform as well.
Prediction: Celtics 89, Bucks 87