San Antonio Spurs vs Milwaukee BucksThe AT&T Center
December 5th, 7:30 PM
TV: FSSW, FSNWI - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI, WTMJ
The Spurs play the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night at the AT&T Center.
Regardless of their record, the Bucks seem to always play the Spurs well. It's confounding. I understand that everyone in the NBA is good at what they do, but Milwaukee has spent the last decade puttering around in NBA purgatory, yet always seem to play above their talent level when facing the Silver and Black. The last time these two teams met, in the 2011-2012 season, the Christmas Deer won by 3. Who was their leading scorer you ask? None other than Captain Jack with a game high 34 points. Well, they won't have that guy shooting for them tonight.
The Bucks will come into the game with a pedestrian 8-8 record. However, they have beaten quality teams. They already handed the Celtics two losses and also beat the Bulls. In addition, they managed to take Miami to overtime before succumbing. So, while their record may not be alarming, they do have some impressive wins.
The Bucks are led in scoring by the always scary, Monta Ellis. Monta has struggled with injuries for the past two seasons, but enters this game healthy. He's one of those players that can get hot in a hurry. Although he is only shooting 21% from distance, if he makes his first three, the Spurs will have their hands full for the remainder of the night. San Antonio will have to do everything possible to prevent him from getting off to a good start. I assume Danny Green will get the assignment. Let's hope Danny's hamstring does not limit his athleticism, because he will need it to stay in front of Ellis.
Brandon Jennings is the Bucks' point guard. He is extremely quick and has started the year off shooting well from three point land at 37%. He has averaged 2.5 steals per game, so the Spurs will have to be wary of him playing the passing lanes. Like Monta, he's another player that poses danger if he can get off to a good start.
Our old friend Beno Udrih has backup point guard responsibilities for the Bucks. He'd like nothing more than to come into San Antonio and play well. As we know, he's not shy about shooting the ball, so the Spurs will need to play him tight and not allow him any good looks. *Udrih is out with an ankle injury
The Spurs will enter the game coming off of a wild week. With Stern's fine still fresh, the recent close loss to the Heat and a big win over the Memphis Grizzlies, my fear is that the Spurs may not show up ready to play. Of course, the last time the Spurs played in an obvious trap game they blew out the Washington Wizards. So far this season, the Spurs have not overlooked any teams. They've had their fair share of poor performances, but it hasn't been due to a lack of effort. I expect the Spurs to show up ready to play Wednesday night.
The Spurs will look to improve upon their 14-4 record. It's important for the Spurs to emerge victorious because it begins a stretch of six very winnable games: vs Bucks (8-8), vs. Rockets (8-8), @ Bobcats (7-9), @ Rockets (8-8), @ Jazz (9-10) and @ Portland (8-10). While none of these teams fall under the 'easy win' category, none are comparable to the Thunder or Grizzlies. If the Spurs continue to play as they have, next time you look up they could be 20-4, and suddenly the Spurs will be making headlines for the right reasons once again.
The Milwaukee Bucks perspective can be found here: Brew Hoop
Game Prediction: Spurs by 8. I think it will be a close game, as they normally are against the Bucks, with the Spurs pulling away in the fourth for a somewhat comfortable victory. Vegas says Spurs by 8.5.
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Game Previewers Prediction Records & how many points off per prediction
Joe deLarios 5-0 (-1, 3, 5, 0, 1)
Wes Thorne 5-1* (-1, 0, 23, 2, -8*,1) *@MIA
Racm 1-3 (-25, -14, -5, 15)
Stijl 1-1 (-12, 11)
CapHill 1-0 (13)
As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.