The Orlando Magic can keep the good times rolling tonight against the injury-laden Milwaukee Bucks, against whom they can earn their season-best seventh consecutive victory. Remarkably, just one Magic man from December's loss to Milwaukee is assured playing time tonight: that'd be Brandon Bass. The other seven players in tonight's rotation were either injured, ill, or on other teams entirely that night, when Andrew Bogut tore the Magic apart with 31 points and 18 rebounds. Bogut will play tonight, but he'll have to tangle with Dwight Howard inside, not the less-than-lethal duo of Marcin Gortat and Malik Allen.
Milwaukee's having a strange season in that it used the offseason to address offense, particularly foul-drawing, which limited it in the prior campaign. The Bucks, in Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden, got exactly the sort of players they needed... but their offense is worse, and is indeed the league's least-efficient, due to historically bad shooting. Only eight teams in the last ten seasons, and none since Howard's rookie season of 2004/05, have posted an effective field goal percentage worse than Milwaukee's so far. The Bucks' offense is the only one in the league managing to score less than one point per possession. In this respect, it's worse than the 12-win New Jersey Nets' from last year.
But the Nets, and indeed few teams, can count on the same level of night-to-night defensive excellence Milwaukee can, which is why it'll remain in the playoff hunt despite laughably horrid offense. If the Magic can't hit their shots, either, we might be in for an 84-80 slugfest featuring shooting percentages in the mid-to-high thirties. Think the Magic and Boston Celtics on Christmas Day, only without the national television, scrutiny, and excitement.
|2010/2011 NBA Season|
|13-19 (5-12 road) |
|22-12 (13-5 home) |
|January 5th, 2011|
|Fox Sports Florida|
|Keyon Dooling||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|John Salmons||SG||Jason Richardson|
|Luc Mbah a Moute||SF||Hedo Turkoglu|
|Ersan Ilyasova||PF||Brandon Bass|
|Andrew Bogut||C||Dwight Howard|
|December 4th: Bucks 96, Magic 85|
|2010/11 Advanced Stats|
|90.4 (T-24th)||Pace||92.0 (T-17th)|
|99.9 (30th)||ORtg||106.7 (13th)|
|102.3 (6th)||DRtg||101.2 (4th)|