Milwaukee Bucks (3-2) at Boston Celtics (4-1)Friday, November 7 7:30 PM ET Regular Season Game #6 – Home Game #3 TV: CSN HD, FSN Wisc, NBA LP NBA4 Radio: WEEI, WTMJ TD Banknorth Garden The Bucks lead the all time series 88-87 with both teams winning 56 games on their home floors and the Celtics losing 32 to only 31 losses for the Bucks. The Celtics will look to even up the series with a win in this one. The Celtics swept the series last season.
The Bucks force 18.5 turnovers per game which is 5th in the league and they are 6th in the league in scoring off those turnovers with 19.5 per game. The Celtics have been turning the ball over too much and with a team like the Bucks, they are going to have to take better care of the ball or it could come back to bite them.
The Celtics' success as a result of their defensive intensity is catching on in the league. Last season the Bucks were last in defensive FG percentage but so far this season, under their new head coach Scott Skiles, they are playing defense and holding teams to 44.2% shooting in addition to forcing the sixth most turnovers.
Probable Starting matchups PG: Rajon Rondo vs Luke Ridnour SG: Ray Allen vs Charlie Bell SF: Paul Pierce vs Richard Hamilton PF: Kevin Garnett vs Charlie Villanueva C: Kendrick Perkins vs Andrew Bogut
Injuries: Celtics: None Bucks: Michael Redd (ankle) out
Paul Pierce 17.8 PPG, 8 RPG, 3.8 APG Richard Jefferson 18.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.4 APG Paul Pierce and Richard Jefferson have had many battles over the years when RJ was in New Jersey. After some initial unhappiness over the trade, Jefferson is playing very well in Milwaukee and had 32 points 3 rebounds and 9 assists in their last game. Pierce never backs down from a challenge so look for him to get very defensive in this game. This should be a good matchup to watch.
Rajon Rondo 8.8 PPG, 6.8 APG, 1.4 SPG Luke Ridnour 9.7 PPG, 6.7 APG, 1 SPG Luke Ridnour has settled into his new team and in his last game filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, 7 rebounds, 11 assists and 2 steals. He doesn't have the speed that Rondo has, but is able to knock down the open shots. Expect Rondo's defensive skills to be on display in this game as he has to consider Ridnour's offense as well as his passing ability.
Honorable Mention Kendrick Perkins 7 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2 BPG Andrew Bogut 12 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.6 BPG Perk has been playing the best basketball of his career in the past two games. Hopefully that will continue in this game both on the defensive end against Bogut and on the offensive end, making Bogut work on both ends of the court.
Players to Watch
Leon Powe 6'8" 240 lbs PF/C 9.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, .4 BPG 17.6 min
Luc Mbah a Moute 6'8" 230 lbs SF 8.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.2 APG 25.2 min
This is an interesting pair of players. Both were second round picks with Mbah a Moute going #37 and Leon going #49. Mbah a Moute has been out playing the Bucks' first round pick so far they are giving him a lot of minutes for a rookie. Leon came along more slowly but is becoming one of the Celtics' key players off the bench and as always, he makes the very most of his minutes.
X-Factor Home Cooking The Celtics are back home after a 3 game road trip that started with a double digit loss and ended with 2 decisive wins. The Celtics have been dominant at home and they want to keep it that way. Expect them to come out with energy and feed off the crowd to keep that energy up and hopefully get to see Gino early.