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Game #65 - Preview: Celtics @ Bucks

Boston Celtics
Record: 51-13
Last Ten Games: 9-1
Points scored per game: 100.7
Points allowed per game: 90.5    
Pace Factor: 91.2 (16th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 110.0 (10th of 30)
Defensive Rating: 98.9 (1st of 30)

Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 23-42
Last Ten Games: 3-7
Points scored per game: 96.2
Points allowed per game: 102.7
Pace Factor: 90.9 (18th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 105.2 (19th of 30)
Defensive Rating: 112.3 (30th of 30)

Hat tip to basketball-reference.com for info on the Celtics and the Bucks.

Rajon Rondo vs. Royal Ivey
Ray Allen vs. Michael Redd
Paul Pierce vs. Bobby Simmons
Kevin Garnett vs. Charlie Villaueva
Kendrick Perkins vs. Andrew Bogut?

Schedule Notes
The Bucks had the last two nights off after a back-to-back against the Wizards and Jazz. Meanwhile, the Celtics will play the second of a back-to-back, on the road boot. Advantage Milwaukee.

Last Time They Met
The Bucks had the misfortune of running into the Celtics buzz saw when it was rolling in December. And even without Ray Allen Boston managed to win by 18. Tony Allen got the start and may have played the game of his season, as his efforts helped hold Michael Redd to 7 points. It was pretty even throughout the first half and then the Celtics caught fire in the third. Not a particularly memorable game.

Your Thoughts on Chuck?
Forget Bill Simmons' campaign for Buck GM. I think we should do whatever it takes to get Villanueva to go by Chuck. I don't ask for much. Let's make it happen.

What a difference a year makes
For some reason Celtics.com is not letting me access last year's boxscores. I think this is a relatively new development. So I can't exactly remember the lineups the Bucks and Celtics sent out for a lousy game in April. Actually they played twice that month - April 4th and 13th - both Celtics losses. Just trust me on this one. One of those games attempted to set NBA basketball back 30 years.  However, we can thank the aforementioned Bill Simmons for writing a little bit about the April 4th encounter. Regardless Boston's fortunes have turned around greatly while Milwaukee continues to struggle.

More on Villanueva
Do you realize he only averages 5.6 rebounds per game and is shooting just under 28% from beyond the arc, which is supposed to be one of his strengths. I have to be honest that I haven't seen him play a ton, partly because he is in Milwaukee and partly because he has been injured some. But he always strikes me as a bit of a disappointment. In fact I would put him on my starting five of guys I would not want my team to rely on. For the record here is that squad:

Point Guard: Kirk Hinrich - Things have fallen apart in Chicago and I'm sure a lot of people are pointing fingers. I just expected more of Hinrich and desperately wish I had come up with the Mopey Iowan alter ego.  Now that's a nickname!
Shooting Guard: Ricky Davis  
Small Forward: Wally Szczerbiak - Partly because of health and also because he's not quite as good as he thinks he is.
Power Forward: Charlie Villanueva
Center: Eddy Curry

He Always Plays Well Against the Celtics
Dan Gadzuric. I don't get it. He's a rebound machine against the Celtics. Let's just move on.

40th Anniversary Team
The Bucks recently revealed the results of fan voting that determined the best Bucks ever. I for one am guilty of forgetting some of the greats that have played in Milwaukee. Still I'm thankful that Vin Baker will never make the second team of all time Celtics greats. He would not make the 4th team either. Meanwhile, congratulations to Ray Allen (1st team) and Sam Cassell (2nd team) for their inclusion. Although I thought Glenn Robinson had a more productive career in Milwaukee. Sidney Moncrief was the man though.

Check Them Out
The SB Nation Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop joined the crew a few months back and is really well done. In fact I used to inexplicably despise the Bucks. And now that has changed thanks to Brew Hoop with only the Knicks, Lakers, and Bullls remaining on that hallowed list of teams I strongly root against.