Milwaukee is coming off their third straight victory as they defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 95-90 Friday night. Even though the Bucks moved within one game of the New York Knicks and the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference they did not look like a team deserving of the postseason. Milwaukee was outrebounded 57-45 and seemed to lack an effort on defense.
“I told the guys I am not going home happy,” Skiles said after the game. “I don’t think they should either. They should be disgusted by it.”
Meanwhile, Portland came off a thrilling victory against the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks Friday night. LaMarcus Aldridge hit a well-defended jump-shot to beat the buzzer for the 99-97 victory in front of a stunned Dallas crowd. Aldridge, a Dallas native, finished the game with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
The Trailblazers will be looking for some revenge when they travel to Milwaukee Saturday night as the Bucks humiliated them on their own court in Monta Ellis’ second game with his new team. Ellis posted 14 points and nine assists as six Bucks scored in double figures. Milwaukee shot 57.8 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from beyond the arc as the Bucks went on to win 116-87.
This is sure to be an entertaining contest as both teams are on winning streaks and fighting for their playoff lives. Portland still has a shot at making the postseason as they are three and a half games back of the eighth and seventh seed in the Western Conference, but cannot afford to lose any significant games.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee has the better chance of making the playoffs since they control their own fate with a date scheduled with the Knicks Wednesday night. If the Bucks can go 5-0 on their current five-game homestand then they have a very good chance of clinching the eighth seed.
As far as tonight’s game is concerned, both teams will have to play their game that has gotten them this far. Milwaukee will have to step up their defense, something that has been lacking in recent games, in order to stop Portland from scoring their season average of 97.3 points per game. The Trailblazers must ride the momentum from last night’s game and Aldridge’s hot hand.