NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 9th
(All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (53-25) at Milwaukee Bucks (14-63), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers need to correct what ails them before
the playoffs and what better way to start than with a matchup against the
Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night at Bradley Center.
The Pacers have lost two straight, five of six and seven of their last nine.
Indiana has ceded Eastern Conference supremacy to the Miami Heat, who lead the
race for the No. 1 seed by a half-game.
The Pacers have dropped six in a row on the road. They haven't won as the
visitor since an overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons on March 15.
Indiana's most recent setback came at home, a somewhat embarrassing 107-88
loss Sunday night to the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta was 9-21 since Feb. 1, but did
manhandle the Pacers.
"You can't look at records. Everybody plays at different levels throughout a
year," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of the Hawks. "This team is playing much
better than they have most of the year, right now. This is a team we should
beat at home, and we did beat at home."
Paul George netted 18 points to lead Indiana, which dug itself a huge hole in
the first half en route to the blowout loss. David West finished with 13
points and George Hill had 12 for the Pacers.
The Pacers better get on track against the team with the worst record because
they finish the season with a road game against the Heat, a home contest
versus the Oklahoma City Thunder and a road game in Orlando.
However, Vogel indicated that players will rest over the final week.
"Not everybody will play. We'll pick spots over the final four games to rest
guys that need rest and in the meantime, try to win all four," he said on
The Bucks are most likely going to finish with the worst record in the NBA and
have dropped five straight, including two in a row as the host.
On Friday, Milwaukee fell at home to the Toronto Raptors, 102-98.
John Henson tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists off the bench for
the Bucks, who set a franchise record for most losses in a season with 63.
Khris Middleton scored 20 in the setback and Jeff Adrien went for 19 points
and 12 boards. Brandon Knight chipped in 15 points, while Ramon Sessions added
13 points and 10 assists.
Milwaukee outscored Toronto 64-34 in the paint and 20-3 in transition, but
made just 1-of-9 from behind the arc while the Raptors hit 12 3-pointers. The
Bucks were outscored 55-32 in the second half.
"We had a really good first half," said Bucks coach Larry Drew. "Particularly
our bench came in and gave us some really good minutes, some really solid
minutes. We got off to a slow start at the start of the third quarter."
The Pacers have won all three meetings this season with Milwaukee and five
straight overall against their Central Division rivals. The Bucks have won two
of three as the host in this series.
04/09 10:20:27 ET