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2013-2014 Game 9 Preview: Thunder Take On Undermanned Bucks (Update)

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Yeah, this is going to be ugly.

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"It doesn't get any worse than this!"
"It doesn't get any worse than this!"
W. Bennett Berry
2013-2014 NBA Season
Lost 2

Lost 4
November 16th, 2013
The Bank of Montreal Harris National Association Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
7:30 PM CST
TV: Fox Sports Network Oklahoma, Fox Sports Network Wisconsin
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM/640 AM), WTMJ 620 AM
Injury Report: Caron Butler (Out), Carlos Delfino (Out), Ersan Ilyasova (Out), Brandon Knight (Out), Gary Neal (Out), Zaza Pachulia (Out), Luke Ridnour (Out), Larry Sanders (Out)
Previous Matchups: None (Last Season's Series Was Tied 1-1)
Probable Starters
Russell Westbrook PG Nate Wolters
Thabo Sefolosha SG O.J. Mayo
Kevin Durant SF Khris Middleton
Serge Ibaka PF Zaza Pachulia
Kendrick Perkins C Ekpe Udoh
2013/14 Advanced Stats
100.4 (T-8th) Pace 95.0 (T-25th)
103.3 (T-7th) ORtg 98.0 (22nd)
101.2 (13th) DRtg 104.7 (27th)

Update (Sherman): Thabo Sefolosha is out from flu-like symptoms. Originally Mayberry reported:

But then:


Here's what we know:

  • The Bucks have 10 healthy players heading into tonight's game.
  • Their bench consists of John Henson, Gary Neal, Luke Ridnour, Giannis Antetokoumpo, and Miroslav Raduljica.
  • Luke Ridnour, Gary Neal, and Zaza Pachulia are all on their second game back from injury. They combined for 8-32 from the field last night, and they obviously aren't playing at 100%.
  • The Bucks will be coming off a back-to-back. Last night, they were obliterated by the Pacers.
  • O.J. Mayo, one of only two players on their team to average more than 10 PPG last season, plays atrociously against the Thunder. He shot 34.1% and averaged 4 turnovers against us with the Mavericks in 2012-2013.
Yeah, this is going to be ugly. Really ugly. But, then again, games against the Bucks always have been. The Thunder have tanked two games against the Bucks in their history, both on occasions where their playoff seed was locked in. Those games were pretty fun, because they were some of the only glimpses we got to see of legendary names like Ronnie Brewer, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward, and Daniel Orton. I'm glad tonight's game gives us the opportunity to continue that tradition.

Tonight should see the return of Kendrick Perkins after he took two games off to attend to his family in Texas. He won't be going against world beaters in Ekpe Udoh and John Henson, but he should contribute to the stability of the team's interior defense, which the team has been sorely lacking over the past couple of games.

Anyway, I'm not expecting a lot from tonight's matchup. Generally Milwaukee is a team that wants to play up-tempo, but finds themselves stuck in slow offensive sets. They also don't rebound very well and aren't especially good at forcing turnovers, so even though they can score and defend at an acceptable level, they can't get a whole lot of possessions. However, the Bucks did manage to buck (haha) their bad rebounding trend last night, somehow dominating the Pacers 17-9.

Also, it's really hard to say exactly how they'll play, because I'm not exactly an expert on Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or Miroslav Raduljica.

In fact, I bet the majority of you don't know anything about them. So here's three facts about each of them.

Khris Middleton
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Miroslav Raduljica

It goes without saying that this should be a game for the ages. Hopefully, we'll all live to tell about it to our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren, our great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, and our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren.

How do you think tonight's game will go? Let us know in the comments!