PLAYOFF RACE – With just 13 games remaining Milwaukee is in the midst of a critical stretch in the race with New
York for the eighth seed. The Bucks and Knicks will meet for the final time on April 11. In the mean time,
Milwaukee's four games leading up to the showdown are against teams with a combined .430 winning
percentage, while New York's next four are against teams with a combined .683 winning percentage. Here's a
breakdown of the remaining schedule for both teams:
|Against Teams >=.500 (H/A)
|Against Teams <.500 (H/A)
MOUTE KICKS BOUTE – Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sat out four of five games from March 5-12 with pain in his
knee, but it's the opposition that's been feeling the pain ever since. In the 11 games since he's returned to the
lineup (five starts), Mbah a Moute has averaged 10.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while posting his first two
double-doubles of the season (including a career-high 22 points and season-high 17 rebounds in a win at Golden
State on March 16). He's also shooting 48-of-75 (.640) from the field over that span.
TURNOVER TREAT – The Bucks rank 4th in the NBA in forcing turnovers (16.09 per game). They harassed
Washington into 18 TOs on Monday, the fourth time in the last five games they've forced 15+, and have 31 games
with 15+ opponent turnovers this season. Only New York (37), Memphis (36) and Miami (34) have had more.
SUP-ERSAN – Ilyasova is having a breakout season, posting career highs in scoring (12.7 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg), FG% (.490), 3P% (.422), 20-point
games (10) and double-doubles (15). What makes Ersan stand out as a Most Improved candidate, though, is that he's accomplished it all in just 27.3
minutes per game (just two additional minutes than his previous career high). Ersan has been so efficient in his minutes this season that he's on pace to
become the first player to average 12 points and eight rebounds in under 28 minutes per game since a pair of Hall of Famers did so in the early '90s:
|Ersan Ilyasova (MIL)
|Arvydas Sabonis (POR)
|Robert Parrish (BOS)
|Danny Schayes (DEN)
ERSANITY! – During the height of Linsanity in New York, Ilyasova produced a historic night of his own just across the Hudson. Ersan erupted for career
highs of 29 points and 25 rebounds in Milwaukee's win at New Jersey on 2/19, becoming the first Bucks player in over 30 years to tally 25+ points and
rebounds in a single game. Ilyasova becomes just the third member of the 25/25 club in Bucks history, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Swen Nater.
DUN-3-VY – The Bucks offense has been a revelation this season, ranking in the top-half of the league in scoring (98.7 ppg, 8th), 100-point games (26, T-
4th) and offensive rating (102.5, 12th). Last season, Milwaukee ranked 30th in all three categories. A major reason for the improvement has been the
scoring off the bench from Mike Dunleavy. The veteran has led a 2nd-unit that ranks 6th in the league at 35.0 bench points per game, and his 20 games
this season with 10+ points on 50% or better shooting as a reserve ranks 5th in the league. Dunleavy shot 56.9% from the field during March, the best
mark in the month for a guard, and his 54.4% accuracy from behind the arc for the month led the league. Dunleavy is at 44.9% from three on the season,
the 5th-best mark in the league and on pace for the best three-point shooting season by a Buck since Dell Curry shot 47.6 % during the 1998-99 season.
- Milwaukee has shot 50% or better from the field in three of the last four games, winning all three. The Bucks
are 10-1 this season when shooting 50%, and six of those 11 50% performances have come since the Mar. 14
trade that brought Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to Milwaukee.
- Ersan Ilyasova has posted double-doubles in each of the last three games, matching the career-best streak he
set earlier this season (2/17-20).
- The Bucks have scored 50+ points in the first half in 10 of their last 11 games, and held the halftime lead in
all 10 of those outings.
- Milwaukee has posted an assist-to-turnover ration of 1.99:1 over its last seven games. Bucks opponents have
managed a ratio of just 1.18:1 over that span.
- The Bucks rank 8th in the NBA in points per game with 98.7 and 3rd in assists per game with 23.49. They
ranked 30th in both of those categories last season.