Bucks-Wizards Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 17, 2012
It's been a rare luxury to have three consecutive days off during this condensed NBA season. The Milwaukee Bucks' layoff may have come at the perfect time to gear up for one final, frantic postseason push. The Bucks begin a stretch of six games in nine days to close the regular season Wednesday night against the host Washington Wizards. Trying to catch either New York or Philadelphia for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee (29-31) likely can't afford to slip up against a lesser opponent. After facing a Wizards team which is second from the bottom in the East, the Bucks have a challenge at third-place Indiana, but then they return home to play New Jersey and Toronto before what could be a crucial showdown with the 76ers. "Just take it one game at a time, and see where we're at at the end," center Drew Gooden said. "That's all that's in our control right now." The three days off may have been especially valuable for Gooden, who has recently dealt with a sore back. He had 26 points in a 113-97 win Friday at Detroit but struggled the next night against Roy Hibbert and the Pacers, scoring seven on 2-of-10 shooting in a 105-99 defeat. The Bucks cut an 11-point deficit to one in the second half versus Indiana but couldn't get over the hump, going 1 for 7 from the field in the final four minutes. "If you want to be a really good team, you have to be able to take a timeout, move the ball up, draw up a play that you've worked on countless times and everybody go out there and do it," coach Scott Skiles said. "If you have two or three guys that don't go out there and do it, you're not going to be a good team and we have struggled with that all year long." Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis combined for 36 points against Indiana, although they needed 37 shots to do it. Having played 17 games together since Milwaukee acquired Ellis from Golden State last month, the two guards have shown signs of clicking following an inconsistent start. In the last seven contests, Ellis is averaging 22.0 points and Jennings 18.4 while combining for 12.9 assists per game. Ellis said he's not interested in keeping track of the Knicks' and 76ers' results. "I don't look at nothing, I just worry about what we gotta do," he said. "Only thing we gotta do is do our work, play out the rest of these six games and see what happens." It would be reasonable to expect that stretch to start with a victory. Not only have the Bucks won eight of nine on the road, but they've averaged 111.0 points on 49.8 percent shooting while winning the first three meetings with the Wizards this season, including a 112-98 victory at the Verizon Center on April 2. Washington (15-46), though, is coming off a surprising 87-84 win at East-leading Chicago on Monday, albeit against a Bulls team missing Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. Kevin Seraphin led Washington with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. The second-year center has averaged 16.2 points on 52.5 percent shooting while starting the last 10 games. "He's continuing to blossom a little bit," coach Randy Wittman said. "I gotta stay on his rear end, though. Not let him get satisfied."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Tyson Fury failed drug test, will be stripped of title belts

Report: Bill O’Brien taking over play-calling duties for Texans

Kevin Garnett offered coaching position with the Cavaliers

Dwight Gooden on Tim Tebow: I would’ve eaten him alive

Josh Gordon entering rehab

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL announces Randy Gregory suspended another 10 games

Khris Middleton expected to miss six months after surgery

Report: Cowboys worried about Bryant's 'irresponsible' actions

Seahawks expecting Russell Wilson to play this week

Ryder Cup heckler wins $100 off Euro players by draining putt

Report: ‘Slim’ chance J.J. Watt returns to Texans this season

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

Box Score: 9/30 - Dolphins, Popovich and MLB umps

Steve Kerr favors shorter NBA preseason to limit back-to-backs

Flaws of MLB replay system exposed in Cardinals’ victory

Ten unheralded players set to shine in NFL Week 4

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Blue Jays and the meaning of a late season freefall

CFB Crash Course: Week 5 - Less one Les

NBA winners and losers: Gregg Popovich as a voice of reason

WATCH: Will LSU have to sell its soul to find its next head coach?

The clubhouse leaders for MLB Rookies of the Year

Goodbye, Ted: 20 years of highs and lows at Turner Field

Forza Horizon 3 review: Going Top Gear

NFL Kickoff Week 4: Guess what? The NFL is dying again

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker