Thunder (41-15) at Bucks (28-28), 8:00 P.M. EST tip

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Thunder (1-game winning streak)
107.2 Offensive Efficiency (2nd)
99.8 Defensive Efficiency (9th)
95.5 Pace (6th)
57.0 True Shooting % (1st)
51.3 Rebound Rate (6th)

Bucks (1-game losing streak)
102.8 Offensive Efficiency (13th)
102.3 Defensive Efficiency (16th)
96.0 Pace (4th)
52.2 True Shooting % (19th)
48.5 Rebound Rate (26th)

The Thunder finally got back on track with a tin last night over the Toronto Raptors, snapping their three-game losing streak. Tonight it gets tougher as they travel to take on the new-look Bucks.

The Bucks have won their last four games and are just one game back of the Philadelphia 76ers for the eight seed in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee made headlines earlier this season trading away Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to Golden State for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh. Milwaukee now has one of the more interesting backcourts in the NBA with Ellis and Brandon Jennings.

In 13 games with the Bucks so far, Ellis is averaging 16.6 points per game, down from 21.9 in his time with Golden State this season. Ellis scored 48 points against the Thunder earlier this season.

With the two smaller guards expect Russell Westbrook to again look to go into the post tonight. Westbrook scored 15 points last night and hasn’t had a big game in awhile so he might be due tonight.

Kevin Durant will have to try and figure out how to score on Carlos Delfino and Mike Dunleavy tonight. So that shouldn’t be hard.

The Bucks do have some weirdly efficient lineups this year led by one of the league’s anomalies, Ersan Ilyasova. He’s averaging around 13-9 this season but has had some huge statistical nights especially when it comes to rebounding.

This isn’t a team that the Thunder should take lightly tonight. The aggressiveness of Oklahoma City will be crucial. There’s no need to settle for jump shots when Milwaukee doesn’t exactly have a lot of rim protectors.

The Thunder haven’t been playing too well lately during their three-game losing streak and the first two and a half quarters of last night’s game. Things will have to change tonight or the Bucks are going to shock the Thunder.

Topics: Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova, Kevin Durant, Milwaukee Bucks, Monta Ellis, Russell Westbrook

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  • AnaheimAmigos

    The Bucks do have rim protectors, but they come off the bench as subs for Ersan and Gooden — two guys who protect the rim by attempting to draw charges.
     
    Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders are actual rim protectors.  While Sanders struggles on offense most of the time, and Udoh is average on that end, the frontcourt works well with an offensively-minded trio of Brandon Jennings, Beno Udrih, and Mike Dunleavy.  Together, they have outscored opponents 53-16.