The last time the Mavs faced the Bucks, it was the second loss of a three-game losing streak — all to Eastern Conference teams. Interestingly enough, they just avoided another one of those by defeating the Orlando Magic on Monday after losing to Boston and Detroit in the two previous games. They will return home tonight for a short two-game homestand before returning to the road for two more games out East. The Mavs have won four straight home games against the Bucks.
Not the worst, but not very good
The Bucks aren't likely to be heading toward the top of the draft next summer, but they are several games back from being the 8th seed in the East, which usually means you aren't very good. They are ranked tied for 26th in the league in offense, 21st on defense, 26th in rebounding and don't shoot well from the free-throw line in the few times they get there. In their last three games, they have averaged 84.7 points per game. They have lost 10 of their last 14 and have been generally putrid lately. If this one isn't over by halfway through the fourth quarter, the Mavs have nobody to blame but themselves.
Bogut hasn't been too bogus
It's fun to give the Bucks flack for drafting Andrew Bogut No. 1 overall when the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Marvin Williams, Raymond Felton, Danny Granger, etc. were available. Those arguments are still true, but Bogut isn't the total bust that many would like to think he is. He still can't defend and doesn't rebound as well as his size and game dictate he should, but he's averaging 13.5 points, 8.90 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 52.1 percent shooting from the floor.
They'll come out charging
They may not be very good, but the Bucks will come out charging hard tonight. After their game tonight, they will head home for two days of rest. They will play four straight games at home over the course of a 14-day period. In other words, they have a lot of rest in their own beds coming up, so they probably won't be conserving their energy tonight. Look for them to come out of the gates with more effort than expected.
Are they trying to compete for a playoff spot or heading for the lottery and building for the future?
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd