MILWAUKEE – Mention to Coach Randy Wittman that the Milwaukee Bucks have the NBA’s worst record and he shakes his head because he doesn’t want to hear it. Tell him that the Wizards have gone to overtime in both games this season against the Bucks – winning on the road and losing at home – and Wittman nods his head.
“We don’t need to look at anything more than the two games they played against us,” Wittman said. “You’ve got to play good games against everybody in this league. It’s hard to win.”
This time of the season, Wittman doesn’t want his team worried about opponents or their records, because a win over Milwaukee counts the same in the standings as a win against any other team.
The Bucks will be without guard O.J. Mayo, who is serving a one-game suspension for “forcibly striking” New Orleans big man Greg Steimsma in a 112-104 loss on Friday to the Pelicans. Mayo made a three-pointer over Nene to force overtime when the teams met on Nov. 27 but the Wizards pulled out a 100-92 victory at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. In the rematch on Dec. 6, Trevor Ariza scored 22 points but the Wizards blew a five-point lead with 51 seconds remaining and lost, 109-105, at Verizon Center.
The Wizards lost both Nene and Martell Webster to injury in that defeat but they have also had problems matching up with the Bucks in both games.
“They were able to space the floor with Ilyasova which creates space just like we talk when we’re able to go smaller what the floor looks like for John” Wall, Wittman said. “It’s kind of a similar thing. They start that way and play a lot of the game that way. We have to do a good job of containing off the dribble and getting to shooters.”
Webster is back after missing the past two games with a sore back, but both Nene and Kevin Seraphin remain out as the Wizards (32-29) attempt to win eight of nine games.
“It’s always nice to play good ball,” Wittman said. “We are playing at a very high level now, and this is something we have to continue to do down the stretch. Obviously, each game is more magnified as you come down the line, and our focus has to stay at the same place it is right now.”
(TV: Comcast SportsNet. Radio: WFED-1500).
Here’s some reading to help you get ready for the game: