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Game Thread #4: Bulls vs Milwaukee Bucks

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Since Matt's lazy and no one wanted to post a preview in the Diaries, here we go...

Still stinging from Chris Duhon's crunch time blunder(s), the 1-2 Bulls will host the 2-1 Bucks tonight. The Bucks spoiled the Pistons home opener to start the season, dropped one up in Toronto and then handily defeated the Kings in their own home opener the night after the Bulls let them escape with a win. Michael Redd is shooting the lights out, averaging 26 PPG on 54% shooting. But what really has the Bucks on a roll is their new-fangled frontcourt of sophomores Charlie Villanueva (19.3 PPG, 10 RPG) and Andrew Bogut (18.3 PPG, 8 RPG). Bogut is apparently recovering nicely from a lower leg sprain which was expected to keep him out at least a few more weeks. And Villanueva... well, I'm still stinging from the fact he went to UConn after committing to Illinois. But I digress...

As MKE points out, however, after those three and Mo Williams, there's a pretty huge drop off in production. While The Bratwurst (mmmmm.... Bratwurst) says that the Bucks acquisition of Ruben Patterson for Joe Smith  was the best trade the Bucks made this summer. (Uh... hello, Villanueva for Ford?) Patterson is known for his defense but the Bulls are loaded with scoring options, so he'll have his work cut out for him.

Meanwhile, the Bulls interior defense seemed to make another appearance against the Kings after taking a night off in Orlando. Inconsistency and Duhon's godawful judgement cost them another game, however.

The Bulls depth should give the Bucks some problems. Aside from Patterson, there aren't really any defense stoppers on the Bucks, so look for any one of Gordon, Hinrich, Deng or Nocioni to have a big night. (I know Matt will be rooting for Deng.) The matchup in the frontcourt should be interesting, with veterans Ben Wallace and PJ Brown looking to shut down the Bucks young'ns.