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Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Bucks

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Despite sitting 13 games under .500, there are some teams that have been infinitely worse. The Pelicans will welcome the hapless Bucks, winners of a mere 12 games out of 60 on the season. However, unlike the Sixers, Milwaukee actually had designs of fielding a competitive team, but injuries and underperformance quickly slaughtered that dream. Since the All-Star break though, the Bucks have fared a bit better going 3-5, but those wins did come against teams that are a combined 55-130.

Simply put, Milwaukee isn't committed to winning and their rotations prove this. Since the break, 9 Bucks are averaging over 20 minutes a game, with Brandon Knight the only player eclipsing 30. Speaking of Knight, he's their team's leading scorer by a hefty margin. You know things must be bad if this is the case.

3 things to watch for:

  • Eric Gordon's Defense. Gordon should be matched up on Knight for most of the game so let's see how he fares. Will he be as abysmal as his synergy sports ranking of 307th indicates or is there hope his athleticism has the potential for anymore bounce back? How he looks the rest of the year would give Demps more wiggle room to negotiate this coming off-season.
  • Jeff Withey's minutes. Withey is supposed to be getting more court time but managed only 13 minutes against the Lakers. A lot of it likely had to do with small-ball, but it's disconcerting Stiemsma still received 8 minutes. If you're going to commit to the young guys the rest of the season, there needs to be a much greater minutes discrepancy.
  • Triple Double Watch. Tyreke's been piling up the statistics since moving into the starting lineup, meanwhile Davis hasn't had a monster block game in some time. The only triple double to date in the Pelicans short history has been by Evans back on December 18th against the Clippers. Could we see the second one tonight?