After a depleting loss in San Antonio a few nights ago, the Bucks are back on the road and looking to bounce back as they take on the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Looking back at the first meeting between the two teams, a game in which the Bucks won soundly, the biggest matchup was between the two centers – Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. It was a matchup that Monroe came out on. He finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds while Drummond recorded 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Tonight will be Greg Monroe’s first time back in Detroit since signing a max contract with the Bucks this past summer. Monroe says his goal is to drown out any possible drama and just focus on the game itself.
Once again, it will be imperative for Monroe to assert his dominance down low against Drummond. The Detroit center leads the NBA in rebounding with 16.7 boards per game and double doubles with 17.
One thing the Bucks had success with in their initial matchup against Detroit this season was limiting the offensive firepower of Reggie Jackson. The point guard was held to a season-low seven points on only 3-of-11 shooting. However, he is currently riding a hot streak, as he scored 34 points and notched a season-high in the assist category with 16 on Wednesday night in an overtime victory against the Suns. If Jackson is able to garnish success against Milwaukee both in scoring and ball distribution, it could spell out to be trouble for the Bucks.
Jason Kidd says that Jerryd Bayless will likely receive the start at point guard tonight after being benched against the Spurs in San Antonio. The exact reason for the benching still remains unknown, but it was most likely Kidd attempting to send a message to Bayless. Nonetheless, it will be comforting for the Bucks offense to have Bayless back in the rotation, who set a Bucks franchise record for threes in a month in November. It will also add a spark to an offense who scored its lowest point total of the last two seasons.
This is a vital game for the Bucks, as they are entering the stretch in their schedule in which any win will be important. They need to take advantage of games they know they can win, and this is one of those games. At some point Milwaukee needs to rebound, and the sooner the better.