[Thanks to Justin for today's game preview -yfbb]
With the hot topic of tanking being the theme of this season, I don't know whether to be happy when the Bulls win or happy when they lose.
Tonight, the Bulls will travel to the BMO Harris Bradley Center to face off with statistically the worst basketball team in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks lie in dead-last in the Eastern Conference, but we can't just overlook them. It has been a 1-1 split so far this year, and with this season being like a rollercoaster you never know what will happen. On the upside, Mike Dunleavy has made a bold statement that he wants to be this team's scorer, recently acquired DJ Augustin is playing like he is proud to be a Bull, and Taj Gibson may be our starting power forward for the future. But again: don't overlook this matchup.
This Milwaukee team may not have a boatload of talent, but they do have guys who can step up and make a large impact. Young players like rookie Antetokounmpo (that was a mouth full) has made his mark early in Milwaukee and seems to be a promising player. OJ Mayo and Brandon Knight have run the team both as solid scorers. The Bucks received Knight through the Piston's in the offseason. Brandon Knight is the leading scorer on this team at 15 PPG. The Bulls should also look out for Ersan Ilyasova. On the other end is block master Larry Sanders with his monster hands and sick ability to stuff the hell out of anyone, and I mean anyone. This roster is very weak but the theme of this year for the Bucks is to lose and end up with Jabari or Wiggins, then build around them. If the Bulls are planning on tanking (which, despite the Deng trade, they seem to not want to do) it will be obvious in this matchup.
The Bucks starting lineup will most likely consist of Knight, Sanders, Antetokounmpo, Ilyasova, Ridnour with Mayo coming off the bench.
As for the Bulls, Carlos Boozer say he's 'good to go', but look for Gibson to start due to Boozer being inconsistent with playing games. Assume the same starters from last game vs. the Suns. Ouch! The Bulls are hurting.
In all the years that we have faced off against Milwaukee, we have won 120 games while losing 106. Hopefully the Bulls will keep the temporary win streak going with a win in Milwaukee.
Tipoff is at 7:30 CT. You can watch the game on CSN-Chicago or listen at ESPN 1000 AM/ WRTO-AM. Go Bulls!