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Pistons host Bucks in battle of teams that just beat the Miami Heat

Essentials

  • Teams: Milwaukee Bucks (16-10) at Detroit Pistons (10-22)
  • Date: December 30, 2012
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Pistons enter this game with momentum after upsetting the defending champion Miami Heat on Friday. Unfortunately, so do the Bucks, who beat the Heat with its full array of players (Dwyane Wade didn’t play against the Pistons because of a suspension) on Saturday.

Many predicted that the Bucks would sneak into the playoffs this season and so far, with the team at 16-10 and tied for first place in the Central Division, that looks like a good bet. The Bucks are led by two dynamic, undersized guards who like to shoot — Monta Ellis averages 19 points and nearly six assists per game and Brandon Jennings averages 17 points and nearly six assists per game. The key to stopping these two players who love to shoot might be … well … letting them shoot. Neither shoots a particularly good percentage from the field. Ellis is attempting three 3-pointers per game and making just 25 percent of them. Ersan Ilyasova, who had a great season last season, has fallen off dramatically and is shooting just 39 percent. Oh, and only semi-related to tonight’s game but still hilarious, check out Ellis’ lofty opinion of himself:

To be honest, I would put myself in the same category as D-Wade. I mean, at the end of the day, the only thing that he has that I don’t have is more wins and two championships. That’s it. As far as playing at the same level? Competing every night? Both ends? Shooting inside and outside? Fast break? Transition? Monta Ellis have it all.”

That’s why I love this league so much. A guy who has really only been barely better than like Lou Williams this year can compare himself favorably to Dwyane Wade. That’s beautiful work, Monta.

So how is one of the worst shooting teams in the league, which seems to have a few ill-fitting parts, staying competitive? The answer is pretty simple — defense. The Bucks allow opponents to shoot just 43 percent (top 10 in the league) and, led by Larry Sanders and his three blocks per game in just 25 minutes per game, the Bucks are the second best shot-blocking team in the league. That could be a bad mix for the Pistons, who have several players who get their shots blocked fairly frequently.

The biggest question for the Pistons will be whether the surprisingly (perhaps I should say SURPRISINGLY!) good bench unit can continue it’s amazing production from the last two games. Andre Drummond has been a reliable contributor off the bench all season, but Will Bynum, Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva have all become productive players of late, surprising considering the fact that all three have spent time out of the rotation at different points this season and all three are coming off of what can be generously described as awful seasons.

Read about the Bucks

Bucksketball

17 Comments

  • Dec 30, 20124:25 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I’m surprised Monta didn’t talk about himself in the third person.

  • Dec 30, 20124:59 pm
    by menten

    Reply

    we will lose the game. monroe will choke and maxiell play 30 minutes

    • Dec 30, 20126:14 pm
      by Day and Knight

      Reply

      I won’t argue against this lol sounds about right

  • Dec 30, 20126:17 pm
    by Day and Knight

    Reply

    I’ll be watching tye Redskins send the Cow Girls home, but I’m pretty sure this will be a good one to watch  and a close one but I expect us to lose. Bucks seem pretty legit and not just because of Jennings and Monta. Larry Sanders is playing great basketball too! 

  • Dec 30, 20126:22 pm
    by 19880607

    Reply

    I just wanted to mention to Patrick that I really enjoyed that headline.

  • Dec 30, 20126:43 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Drummond to make a surprise start. Whoops I forgot to take my meds again!

  • Dec 30, 20127:17 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    To be honest I’d rather have Monta or Lou Williams on the team instead of pretty much every guard we have on the roster.

    • Dec 31, 20123:31 am
      by rick

      Reply

      Way to put your foot in your mouth. Milwaukees guards are more ball hogs than anything we have on the team. I don’t want 6’3 shooting guards unless they come off the bench.

  • Dec 30, 20127:18 pm
    by Herman Neutic

    Reply

    I expect Detroit will play hard, not quit, continue to develop, and be fun to watch. 
    The Bucks are good and confident, but they played last night. So a Piston’s win wouldn’t necessarily mean a corner has been turned, but it would begin to make me wonder.

  • Dec 30, 20129:02 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    is it just me…or does it look like Prince refuses to pass the ball to Knight?

    Please someone keep an eye on this with me 

  • Dec 30, 20129:03 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    is it just me…or does it look like Prince refuses to pass the ball to Knight?

    Please someone keep an eye on this with me …

    • Dec 31, 20123:33 am
      by rick

      Reply

      Cmon man are you just looking for a reason to gripe or what? Heres some food for thought coming from Knight coutesy of ESPN.

      “Just his presence out there helps us,” Knight said. “He’s a big-time player and he’s been in those situations so many times.”

        

  • Dec 30, 20129:13 pm
    by curriergroh

    Reply

    I am so tired of watching Monroe talk to refs during the game, walk up the court, and not jumping.

  • Dec 30, 20129:49 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    we punched in the mouth, then we got punched in the mouth…. but we pulled it out…

    Good Win… aginst back to back winning teams 

  • Dec 30, 201210:46 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    good win. The character of the team has changed. The 2nd unit pushed the starting unit to play better. But I still maintain the game changed when Tayshaun dunked on Chris Bosh for the first 2 points of the Miami heat game. its almost like he showed the team what it takes.

  • Dec 31, 201210:00 am
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    This was a good win.  We have lost plenty of games like this.  This is a game you need to put together some momentum.  4 out of 5 can then turn into 8 out of ten and then the season can kind of balance itself out.  A lot of times if you just take care of the ball the other team will pretty much shoot them selves out of it.  Good to see the Pistons make the necessary plays to win this one.  Tayshaun won this game for us.  Does this justify the fourth year on his contract?  LOL

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