Pistons-Bucks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 10, 2013
A coaching change might have been what the Milwaukee Bucks needed to get back on track. They should have a good chance to remain undefeated under interim coach Jim Boylan when they try for a fourth straight home victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. Milwaukee (18-16) was on a season-high four-game skid when the team and coach Scott Skiles mutually decided to part ways Monday. Boylan, a longtime NBA assistant, will coach the team at least through the rest of the season. In his first game in charge Tuesday, the Bucks beat Phoenix 108-99, then overcame a 15-point deficit to win 104-96 at Chicago the next night. Boylan also replaced Skiles as Bulls coach at midseason in 2007-08, but won't put as much pressure on himself to succeed this time. Chicago fired Boylan at the end of that season after he guided the team to a 24-32 record. "I told the guys that I'm just gonna have fun with this,'' Boylan said. "Coach as well as I can coach, motivate these guys, and that's what I'm gonna do.'' The Bucks averaged 95.9 points and shot 43.2 percent while going 16-16 under Skiles, but have made 46.3 percent of their shots for Boylan. "It is the same offense, same defense, but we are just not thinking," Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings told Chicago's official website. "I have confidence in Jim." Jennings could be the biggest benefactor of the coaching change. He averaged 17.8 points and shot 40.0 percent before the move, but has scored 64 points while making 53.8 percent from the field and 10 of 17 from 3-point range in the last two games. "I am letting the game come to me," said Jennings, who has made at least one 3-pointer in a career-high 22 straight contests. "I've got my swagger back and I'm just having fun." Motivated by some in-game trash talk from diminutive Bulls guard Nate Robinson, Jennings scored 20 of his season-high 35 points during a third quarter in which the Bucks outscored Chicago 31-23. Though Jennings was held to nine points and 3-of-12 shooting in a 96-94 loss at Detroit on Dec. 30, he's averaged 23.0 and shot 51.0 percent during Milwaukee's three-game home winning streak over the Pistons. The Bucks have averaged 99.0 points and shot 46.8 percent during that run while holding Detroit to 88.3 and 41.1 percent. Detroit (13-23) has not played since Sunday when its season-high four-game winning streak ended with a 108-101 home loss to Charlotte. Tayshaun Prince scored 21 and Greg Monroe added 18 with 14 rebounds, but the Pistons blew a 13-point second-quarter lead. "A loss is a loss, no matter who it's to. Whether it's to Derrick Rose, Kemba Walker,'' Pistons guard Brandon Knight said. "Those are just guys on certain teams. It's a team game." Playing its lone contest away from The Palace of Auburn Hills in a 10-game stretch, Detroit has allowed 93.5 points at home compared to 100.1 on the road, where it's 3-14. Averaging team highs of 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds, Monroe has averaged 19.2 and 11.4 in his last five versus Milwaukee.
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