The predicted overnight low this evening for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is 3 degrees Fahrenheit. This is fantastic news, because for the first time in weeks, the outside temperature is cold enough that the Sixers' offensive output wouldn't show up like a black hole on an infrared camera.
But yeah, watching the Sixers ain't exactly all giggles and sunshine nowadays, but we're looking at a game that features not only Nick Young and an increasingly-lonely Jrue Holiday, but also Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, so if you like chuckers, you're in luck.
The Bucks avoided further symmetry in this game by having the awkward "maybe we should see other people" conversation with Scott Skiles two weeks, ago, which would have made Doug Collins the less grumpily hypertensive head coach in back-to-back games, which is really hard to do.
But really, this is a game that could come in handy for the Sixers if they're still of a mind to make the playoffs--halfway through the regular season, they sit 3 1/2 games behind Boston for the last playoff spot in the East, but five games behind the seventh-place Bucks. Winning this game would put a real dent in their deficit to Milwaukee.
Apart from their celebrated, if somewhat redundant, guard combination, the Bucks boast an intriguing set of forwards and centers, led by former VCU Ram Larry Sanders, who is enjoying a breakout year with more than eight rebounds and three blocks a game. Apart from that, Mike Dunleavy is third on the team in both minutes and points per game, which is damning with faint praise if ever I've heard it. On the other hand, the Bucks can throw Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova at the Sixers, which presents a difficult challenge for Marc Zumoff on the microphone, if not necessarily Thad Young in a battle of stretch 4s.
In case your soul has been so thoroughly pulverized by this Sixers team that you're still looking for reasons to tune in:
- Hey, I don't know if anyone's noticed yet that Larry Sanders is also the name of that Garry Shandling sitcom from...oh, that joke has been made already? Carry on.
- With Epke Udoh and Beno Udrih, the Bucks boast two of the three NBA players ever to have last names that start with "Ud." You could have given me days and I'd never have been able to name the third. First commenter to come up with the right answer gets a big hug if we ever meet in person.
- Between Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and the Ud Brothers, the Bucks have rolled out quite a few interesting names this season. No real analysis there; I just felt like sharing.
- Remember Samuel Dalembert? He's on the Bucks now.
- Tonight's game will be played in the BMO Harris Bradley Center, which, according to Wikipedia, is named after Harry Lynde Bradley, who, again, according to Wikipedia, was an ardent anti-Communist back in the 1950s. Wisconsin clearly had no shortage of those at that time.
- The owner of the Bucks, former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, actually does have a basketball arena named after him, but it's in Madison, and it's home to the Wisconsin Badgers. Kohl, by the way, is of the Kohl family behind the eponymous department store chain. He was also a college roommate of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's. That guy sure has had an interesting life.
- ESPN lists both Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings as point guards, which is amusing. Just because a guy is short, fast and has a good handle doesn't make him a point guard. We've seen too much of Allen Iverson to fall for that trick again.
- This has almost nothing to do with tonight's game, but anyone else remember that 2001 Eastern Conference Finals series between the Bucks and Sixers? Boy, that was a fun series.
Stay tuned to Liberty Ballers for continuing coverage throughout the night.