The Bucks are the odd ducks of the East. They're currently in eighth place at 26-25. They've been up and down all season, but ultimately frustrating. Their coach, Scott Skiles, either quit or was pushed out. Moreover, most of the roster has to be looking forward to Thursday's trade deadline rather than the back-to-back with the Nets Tuesday and Wednesday. The Bucks expect to be active, or rather hope to be.
They have two electrifying guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis but neither of them may be around next year. Jennings, once considered a great young prospect, has now fallen as other guards like Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday have surpassed him. He's a restricted free agent this summer. Ellis, a veteran who can still score, so wants out of Milwaukee he's reportedly willing to pass on an $11 million player option. Both are reportedly on the block.
They have a big ticket power forward, Ersan Ilyasova, who was signed for $40 million over five years but has averaged less than 12 points and 7 boards, both down from last season. Is he available? Almost certainly. They still owe Drew Gooden $21 million! And they have a collection of expiring contracts in Samuel Dalembert, Mike Dunleavy, Joel Przybilla and Marquis Daniels who they'd like to deal.
They can all still play but are inconsisent. Jennings has had games of 35, 34, 31 and 30 this season. Ellis 37, 33, 31 and 30. Ilyasova has had three 20-and-10 games. Even Dalembert, now 31, proved earlier this month he's not done yet, putting up 35 and 12 vs. Denver.
They also have some good young pieces in Larry Sanders (back Tuesday after four games off); John Henson, Ekpe Udoh, Tobias Harris all of whom they hope to build around ... but one or more they'd have to give up if their dreams of trading for Josh Smith, J.J. Redick or Eric Gordon come to bear. And they have every single one of their picks, first and second round, through 2019.
Any of this speculation likely to affect their play at Barclays Center on Tuesday or the Bradley Center on Wednesday? Sure It could if a deal goes down or looks like it will. But if the two teams remain intact through Wednesday night, the Nets will be facing a team with solid rebounding and quick guards, one of which would seem to negate a strength, the other a season long issue for Brooklyn. The Nets are 0-2 vs. the Bucks. So there's the proof.
The Nets of course will want to see what Deron Williams can do. He'll be playing his first game in a week. Otherwise, the Nets seem healthy.
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Milwaukee Bucks Game Notes - Milwaukee Bucks
- Bucks at Nets - February 19, 2013 - NBA.com
- Three keys for the Nets in the second half - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Deron Williams, battling injuries, expects to play in second-half opener - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Deron Williams of Nets Plans to Play Immediately - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Brook Lopez has been bright spot for Nets, but to make splash Williams needs to play like an All-Star - Stefan Bondy - NY Daily News
Deron Williams of Brooklyn Nets says he’ll play Tuesday vs. Milwaukee Bucks - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Brooklyn Nets need Deron Williams to be D-Will - Ian O'Connor - ESPN
- Deron Williams of Brooklyn Nets says he will return against Milwaukee Bucks - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- D-Will on Colangelo’s comments - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Preview: Bucks at Nets - Charles F. Gardner - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Larry Sanders injury: Bucks' center likely to return from back ailment Tuesday - Satchel Price - SB Nation