The Wizards will host the new-look Milwaukee Bucks for the first time this season after losing the first two games on the road. The Bucks will usher out their new backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, whom they acquired at the deadline for Andrew Bogut in an attempt to catch the New York Knicks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“That’s an explosive backcourt,” said John Wall, who is a little disappointed that the game means he will miss the start of the national championship, featuring his alma mater Kentucky. “Monta can score and Brandon can score and they both can get hot. So, you have to get prepared to put on your running boots, because they’re going to run.”
Ellis had 26 points in just three quarters when he visited Verizon Center as a member of the Golden State Warriors last month. Milwaukee is 5-4 with Ellis and trail the Knicks by 21 / 2 games in the standings.
The Wizards (12-40) are just 3-8 since trading for Nene. Nene and Trevor Booker are both out as they recover from pulled left fascia suffered in the team’s last home victory against Philadelphia. Nene and Booker both missed the Wizards’ 99-92 loss on Sunday in Toronto, where they held their ninth consecutive opponent to fewer than 100 points.
The last meeting between the Wizards and Bucks on Feb. 28 - which Milwaukee won, , after nearly squandering a 22-point lead - probably set the stage for the exits of JaVale McGee and Nick Young. Both were benched at the start of the second half of the game and at the start of the next game against Orlando. McGee sat the entire second half in Milwaukee after he fouled Bucks big man Drew Gooden while Gooden attempted a three-pointer at the end of the first half. Young sat most of the second half because of his poor shot selection. The two players were with different teams in two weeks.
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Tipoff: 7 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus; Radio: 106.7 (WJFK FM). Check out a live box score for today’s game here.