Tonight the Phoenix Suns finish up their 5 game East Coast trip with a stop in Milwaukee to take on the Bucks, who sit firmly in the second spot in the Central, and 6th in the Eastern Conference, a half game behind Miami and 1 game in front of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Milwaukee finds themselves on a 2 game slide, losing last night in Charlotte, 87-86. Overall, the Bucks have lost 4 of their last 6. Rookie Brandon Jennings has shot 5-for-21 from the field and totaled 11 points in his last two games.
In their last meeting, the Suns eked out a 105-101 victory in Phoenix. This was the early January Suns, who outscored the Bucks 36-15 in the opening quarter only to find themselves outscored by Milwaukee by 9 points in both the second and third quarters. It was not a happy win.
Those were the old Bucks though. Milwaukee picked up John Salmons, and the ageless or inhuman Jerry Stackhouse and blasted off on a 15-2 stretch that left them in the middle tier of the Eastern Conference race.
- Milwaukee is closing in on its first playoff berth since 2006
- The Suns have won 8 in a row vs. the Bucks
- The four teams the Suns have beaten on the current road trip (Minnesota, Chicago, New Jersey and Detroit) are a combined 132 games under .500 at 84-216. The last time the Suns took on a team above .500 resulted a 93-87 win over Portland on March 21.
- Brandon Jennings was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for March. It was the fourth time Jennings has earned the award this season, thus becoming the first Eastern Conference rookie to ever win the award that many times.
|Ersan Ilyasova||74||23.2||3.9||8.9||44.3||1.0||2.9||34.4||1.4||1.9||72.3||1.9||4.4||6.4||1.0||0.9||0.7||0.3||3 .1||10.3|
|Luc Mbah a Moute||66||26.2||2.5||5.2||48.5||0.1||0.2||37.5||1.3||1.9||70.7||2.4||3.2||5.5||1.1||1.0||0.9||0.6||2.5||6.4|
This is a very dangerous game for the Suns. If there's ever a game to lose, it's the last one on a long road trip when a team is tired and thinking about returning to their own beds and familiar surroundings. Add in the Suns 10-game winning streak, which, in my opinion, is almost a hindrance at this point. Obviously winning is the point, but as Grant Hill pointed out, the Suns haven't been playing great basketball. There have been some good individual performances, but it also helps to play bad teams. With the schedule coming up, (San Antonio, Utah, OKC, Denver, Houston), the Suns face a difficult road on the way to the playoffs. I'd rather get an inevitable streak breaker out of the way sooner than later (commentator ducks).
Both squads played last night so the last game of back to back syndrome is in effect. Jason Richardson has been suffering from back spasms, the latest of the Suns to publicly announce they are not 100%. But at this stage in the season, only Jarron Collins and Earl Clark should be 100%. The Suns simply have to man up tonight and gut out a win to maintain their standing in the Western Conference.
"We've needed every one of these, and we're going to need some more. I would have never believed that we could win these 10 games and still be looking at the possibility of starting the playoffs on the road. This is a tough, tough conference."
"We're playing well, and whenever you have a 10-game winning streak, it is going to be fun. At the same time, we're playing for something, so we've got to keep this going."
"A lot of people thought that was a risky pick. There was talk about his attitude and some of the things he had said. But we haven't seen that of Brandon here. He's been huge for us."
And lastly, as recommended by Mr. Scott Howard, is a video featuring the Bucks' mascot which is NOT funny. At all. If you laugh at this, you can be sure the Karma Police will soon be knocking at your door. Scott you are sick.:
NBA mascot hits halfcourt shot off another mascot (via losangelestimes)
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