Golden State Warriors (26-16) @ Milwaukee Bucks (22-19)
Tipoff: 5:30PM PST, BMO Harris Bradley Center
TV: CSN Bay Area | Radio: KNBR 680
Blog Buddy: BrewHoop
So many fun things about this game, but let's start with the basics. I got a chance to catch an episode of The Uncle Drew Show last night watching the NBA League Pass replay of Kyrie Irving keeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the game in the third quarter against the Bucks, then the Cavs' bench demolishing the Bucks' bench to seal the comeback win.
The Bucks, like many NBA teams on the bell curve who are not "elite" or "rebuilding", have a pretty solid starting five. What they seem to lack is cohesiveness. Granted, I'm going off a one-game sample, but the Milwaukee offense seems to consist of (1) whatever Brandon Jennings feels like doing, (2) whatever Monta Ellis feels like doing, (3) Ersan Ilyasova hitting a spot-up trey as a result of a Jennings or Monta drive-and-dish, and (4) Larry Sanders cleaning up the garbage. On defense, it's basically Jennings and Monta taking chances out in the perimeter, followed by help interior D from Sanders.
The Warriors should win this one because the Bucks don't have any rebounders who crash with their heads cut off (like, say, Joakim Noah) and they also have zero post-up players (no need for the zone). You also figure both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can't possibly both have two off-shooting nights in a row. Furthermore, the Dubs' bench is way, way better than the Bucks' with favorable matchups in Jarrett Jack vs Beno Udrih at backup point, Carl Landry vs Ekpe Udoh down low, while Draymond Green should be able to smother Mike Dunleavy.
And, finally, the Mark Jackson cohesiveness factor. That's the intangible that thus far has the Warriors in the .600+ winning percentage category: chemistry.
Also this should be a fun one to watch because the Bucks like to run in the open court, a welcome relief to the Warriors after having to face the halfcourt-based Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Chicago Bulls in succession.
Here are some more notes...
- You did click on the link in the caption of the Dunleavy photo, right?
- D.Lee vs Ilyasova should be a good one. Will #Ersanity continue? He's had 27, 27, and 30 in the last three games. First, it depends on if the Warriors guards can contain Jennings and Monta's drives, because that's when Ilyasova gets open for the spot-up trey. D.Lee is pretty good at closing out, too, so my guess is that Ersanity comes to a close after this one. However, I want rights to the documentary!
- I guess Drew Gooden and Samuel Dalembert are in the doghouse. They've both collected an enormous amount of DNPs this season. Quite puzzling.
- Luc Mbah a Moute, a rather pedestrian NBA small forward, has a role that is kind of like Harrison Barnes's: starter, then sit during key stretches of the game. Hopefully Barnes comes out strong, otherwise this matchup will be inconsequential.
- Sanders has had a triple-double by way of blocked shots! While researching this, I came across this: Warriors great Nate Thurmond was the first player ever to record a quadruple-double.
- Apparently there were some problems with the Bucks offense prior to the firing of Scott Skiles, but I didn't see anything glaring from last night's game vs the Cavs.
- The triumvirate of Dunleavy, Sanders, and Udoh brings to mind the plight of Cohan-era draft picks not named Ellis. Dunleavy was the Warriors' #3 pick in 2002, who was ultimately shipped to the Indiana Pacers along with former Warriors No. 14 pick Troy Murphy. Udoh was the #6 pick in the deep 2010 Draft, which featured *gulp* Greg Monroe at #7, Al-Farouq Aminu at #8, Gordon Hayward at #9, Paul George at #10, Xavier Henry at #12, Ed Davis at #13, Patrick Patterson at #14, then Sanders at #15. Cole Aldrich at #11 was the only player I'd rather not have than Udoh between #6 and #15 but that's neither here nor there.
- A little piece from our Blog Buddy BrewHoop that talks about Jennings/Ellis trade possibilities and the likelihood that the Bucks roster will look very different next year.
- Last time the Warriors met the Bucks, Monta had just been traded two days earlier and Dunleavy returned to The Oracle to post a game-high 24 points. A game we won't care to remember.