This is the 2nd and final meeting between the Bucks and the Kings this season. Milwaukee won the first meeting, 84-79, at ARCO Arena on December 23rd. The two teams split their series last season 1-1 with the Kings winning in the Bradley Center 96-95 and the Bucks winning in Arco in double overtime 114-108. So, I’d say that the 2 teams seemed to be closely matched.
In our first meeting, Brandon Jennings missed the game after foot surgery, and Keyon Dooling started at PG with John Salmons at SG. Andrew Gogut started at Center, with Ersan Ilyasova and Chris Douglas-Roberts at the forwards. Off the bench Earl Boykins led all players with 19 points. Andrew Bogut scored 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Keyon Dooling scored 14 points and John Salmons added 12 points. Douglas-Roberts scored 5pts in 33 minutes, and Ilyasova scored 3 pts on 1-4 shooting and had 5 rebounds.
The Kings out rebounded the Bucks 57-37 and 19-7 on the offensive glass, but totally blew the 2nd chance points advantage by turning over the ball 25 times. The Kings ended up with a 14 to 6 advantage in second chance points while the Bucks ended up with a 30 to 12 advantage in points off of turnovers.
The Kings made only 31 of 85 for 36.5% from the field. Tyreke who missed a game 9 days earlier due to pain from his PF, shot 2-13 for 4 pts, Donte who started at SF went 4-13 for 9 pts, and Carl was 4-10 for 9 pts. Beno Udrih who led the Kings in scoring with 17 points and Samuel Dalembert who recorded a double-double with 13 points and a team-high 12 rebounds were the only Kings players to score in double figures.
With 8:24 left in the fourth quarter The Kings had a six-point lead, 75-69. Milwaukee then went on a 12-0 run for an 81-75 advantage with 2:53 remaining. Tyreke Evans scored his first basket of the night with 2:30 left, to get the Kings to within four, 81-77 which was as close as the Kings got. The Kings missed their last four field goal attempts. The Bucks outscored Sacramento, 22-15, in the fourth quarter to beat the Kings 84-79.
The Bucks are tied with Charlotte for 9th place in the East with a record of 28-41, 2 games behind Indiana for the 8th and final playoff spot. Milwaukee is 19-17 at home and are 5-5 in their last ten games. Milwaukee is 4th in Defensive Efficiency, and like the 3 teams ahead of them Chicago, Boston, and Orlando, they like to play at a very slow pace. But what separates them from those other teams is that the Bucks have the worst Offensive Efficiency in the league and the worst TS%. They’re also the only team that has an Assist Rate worse than the Kings. They have a decent Turnover Rate (11th), but are only average on the boards in both Total Rebounds and Offensive Rebounds. They are also on par with the Kings in 3P% and FT%.
Since our last meeting, Milwaukee has done little to change their roster except for a couple of 10 day contract signing. Drew Gooden who sat out the last game due to plantar fasciitis hasn’t played since Jan. 21st and is out again suffering from PF. Ersan Ilyasova who hasn’t played since Feb. 23rd due to a concussion he suffered in a collision in practice with center Jon Brockman is also out. Jennings has recovered from his injury and starts in the backcourt with Salmons. Carlos Delfino has taken over the SF spot from Douglas-Roberts and Luc Mbah a Moute has taken over the PF spot for Ilyasova. Bogut continues to start at Center.
Jennings is the leading scorer at 15.6 pts/ 4.9 asts in 33 mpg. Salmons is 2nd at 13.9 pts/ 3.4 asts/ 2.4 rebs in 34.7 mpg. Corey Maggette is 3rd with 12.7 pts/ 3.8 rebs coming off the bench. Bogut is a close 4th averaging 12.6 pts and is the leading rebounder at 11.3 rpg in 35.2 mpg. Delfino is next at 12.1 pts/ 3.9 rebs in 32.6 mpg. Mbah a Moute is the only starter not scoring in double figures at 6.3 pts/ 5.4 rbs.
The bench consists of Jon Brockman, Keyon Dooling, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Corey Maggette, and first round pick Larry Sanders. Jennings and Defino are the high volume three pt shooters averaging 5-6 a game each, although Delfino hit 14 threes in 22 attempts in the last 2 games. Delfino is averaging 36.4% and Jennings 32.4%. The other top 3-pt shooters are Salmons who averages 38.9% and Dooling shooting 34.0% on almost 3 attempts each per game.
The Bucks advantage is that they play excellent defense and have a quick PG with great handles which are the 2 areas that have perplexed the Kings all season. Our only two victories this month came against teams that have the 4th and 5th worst defense in the league. And while Curry and Ridnour are decent PG’s they’re more likely to stop and take a pull up jumper then penetrates into the paint and breakdown the Kings defense. The Kings are going to have to find a way to run their offense when the Bucks pressure the ball. We certainly aren’t going to out defend them, and if we can’t find a way to score and stop making stupid turnovers, we won’t beat them either. Go Kings.