Central Casting - 04/12/10

Bucks.com's Truman Reed presents this weekly glance at what's happening in the National Basketball Association's Central Division


April 11, 2010

Central Division Standings thru Apr. 14th, 2010
Team W L PCT GB HM RD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK L10
z - Cleveland
61
20
.753
-
35-6
26-14
12-4
38-13
102.3
95.5
+6.8
Lost 3
5-5
x - Milwaukee
45
36
.556
16
28-13
17-23
10-6
30-21
97.6
96.0
+1.6
Lost 2
6-4
Chicago
40
41
.494
21
24-17
16-24
10-6
27-24
97.5
99.2
-1.8
Won 2
7-3
Indiana
32
49
.395
29
23-18
9-31
6-10
23-28
100.8
103.9
-3.0
Lost 1
7-3
Detroit
26
55
.321
35
17-24
9-31
2-14
18-34
93.9
99.1
-5.2
Lost 2
3-7
z - Clinched Conference    x - Clinched Playoff Berth

Player of the Week:
Danny Granger, Indiana
The Pacers are well out of the playoff running, but Granger continued his recent scoring binge, averaging 27.3 points in leading Indiana to a four-game sweep last week.
The former New Mexico Lobo contributed 18 points in a 133-102 romp over Houston on April 4, then dropped 33 points and collected seven rebounds and five assists in a 113-105 triumph over New York on April 7. He broke loose for 36 points and totaled three rebounds, two steals and a block in a 116-113 win over Cleveland on April 9, then finished his week with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists in a a 115-102 victory over New Jersey on April 10.

Rookie of the Week:
A.J. Price, Indiana
The University of Connecticut product also contributed to the Pacers 4-0 week when opportunity knocked.

Price contributed 17 points and two assists to Indiana's 133-102 win over Houston on April 4, then added 11 points and three assists in the team's 113-105 victory over New York on April 7.

Game of the Week:
April 3 - Milwaukee 79, Chicago 74
The victory clinched the Bucks their first NBA Playoffs trip since 2006, running their record to 43-34 and vaulting them into a tie for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference with the Miami Heat.

Milwaukee was playing its first full game without Andrew Bogut after he was lost for the season with a dislocated elbow, sprained wrist and broken hand sustained against Phoenix on April 3.

The Bucks got a game-high 26 points from John Salmons, acquired from the Bulls on February 18, and offset their 36-percent field goal shooting by forcing 16 turnovers and outscoring Chicago from the free-throw line, 16-7.

Chicago opened a 27-14 first-quarter advantage, but the Bucks countered with a 20-2 second-quarter run and withstood a fourth-quarter rush for victory, their third over Chicago in four meetings this season.

Kurt Thomas, starting at center in Bogut's place, grabbed a game- and season-high 14 rebounds for Milwaukee. Ersan Ilyasova scored 17 points and Luke Ridnour 13 off the bench for the Bucks.

Luol Deng collected team highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who fell one game behind Toronto for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth.

Game to Watch:
April 14 - Milwaukee at Boston
This rematch of a game played April 10 at Milwaukee (which the Celtics won, 105-90) will complete both teams' regular-seasons and could be a preview of a first-round playoff matchup.

As of April 11, Boston held the fourth seed in the East and Milwaukee the fifth. If the two teams hold those positions, they would square off in a best-of-seven first-round playoff series. The Bucks enter the contest at 1-2 against the Celtics this season. Boston took the first meeting at home December 8, 98-89, then Milwaukee scored an 86-84 home-court win March 9 behind Andrew Bogut's 25 points and 17 rebounds before Boston took the third meeting Saturday at the Bradley Center, getting 24 points from Paul Pierce, 21 from Ray Allen and 15 points and 10 assists from Rajon Rondo.

Big Numbers:

  • Danny Granger's 36-point outburst in a 116-113 victory over Cleveland on April 9 highlighted a big week for him and his Indiana Pacers team. Granger also had outings of 18, 33 and 22 points as the Pacers made a four-game sweep.
  • Milwaukee's John Salmons scored a team-best 26 points in a 79-74 win over one of his former teams, the Chicago Bulls, on April 6, then netted a team-high 22 in a 108-89 triumph over New Jersey the following night.
  • Detroit's Ben Gordon lit up Miami for a game-high 39 points in the Pistons 106-99 win over the Heat on April 9.
  • Chicago got 24 points and 10 assists from Derrick Rose, 23 points from Kirk Hinrich and 22 points and 10 rebounds from Luol Deng en route to a 109-108 victory over Cleveland on April 8.
  • The Cavaliers' LeBron James saw limited duty last week, resting up for the playoffs, but did put up 42 points, seven rebounds and nine assists in a 117-113 loss to Boston on April 4.
  • Cleveland's Mo Williams poured in 35 points and handed out 10 assists in the Cavaliers 109-108 loss to Chicago on April 8.
  • Kurt Thomas, filling in for injured Bucks starting center Andrew Bogut, snared a game- and season-high 14 rebounds in Milwaukee's 79-74 victory at Chicago on April 6.
  • Indiana's Troy Murphy had double-doubles of 17 points and 12 rebounds in a 133-102 win over Houston on April 4, another 17 and 12 in a 113-105 victory over New York on April 7, 14 points and 11 boards in a 116-113 win over Cleveland on April 9 and 25 points and nine rebounds in a 115-102 win over New Jersey on April 10.
  • Milwaukee's Carlos Delfino came up with a team-high 23 points, five assists and three steals in a 95-90 win at Philadelphia on April 9.
  • The Pistons Tayshaun Prince scored 28 points and came up with six rebounds and seven assists in his team's 106-99 triumph over Miami on April 9.

Central Division Team Scores Schedules:

Cleveland
Cleveland Cavaliers Review
April 4 - Boston 117, Cleveland 113
April 6 - Cleveland 113, Toronto 101
April 8 - Chicago 109, Cleveland 108
April 9 - Indiana 116, Cleveland 113

Cleveland Cavaliers Preview:
April 11 vs. Orlando
April 14 @ Atlanta

Milwaukee
Milwaukee Bucks Review
April 6 - Milwaukee 79, Chicago 74
April 7 - Milwaukee 108, New Jersey 89
April 9 - Milwaukee 95, Phildelphia 90
April 10 - Boston 105, Milwaukee 90

Milwaukee Bucks Preview:
April 12 vs. Atlanta
April 14 @ Boston

Chicago
Chicago Bulls Review
April 6 - Milwaukee 79, Chicago 74
April 8 - Chicago 109, Cleveland 108
April 9 - New Jersey 127, Chicago 116

Chicago Bulls Preview
April 11 @ Toronto
April 13 vs. Boston
April 14 @ Charlotte

Indiana
Indiana Pacers Review
April 4 - Indiana 133, Houston 102
April 7 - Indiana 113, New York 105
April 9 - Indiana 116, Cleveland 113
April 10 - Indiana 115, New Jersey 102

Indiana Pacers Preview
April 12 vs. Orlando
April 14 - @ Washington

Detroit
Detroit Pistons Review
April 6 - Detroit 124, Philadelphia 103
April 7 - Detroit 90, Atlanta 88
April 9 - Detroit 106, Miami 99
April 10 - Charlotte 99, Detroit 95

Detroit Pistons Preview:
April 12 vs. Toronto
April 14 @ Minnesota