Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets
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As the second round begins it appears that the Eastern Conference # 2 seed, Milwaukee Bucks have the advantage on the upset special, # 6 seed Charlotte Hornets. However, when we take a look at the season series we find that the Hornets dominated the regular season series, taking three of four from Milwaukee, with two of the three wins on the Bucks home court. And though the Hornets have been primarily labeled as a defensive team, their offense has sizzled against the Bucks this season -- scoring 100 or more in three of the four regular season contests.
With an assist from IBM's data-mining program Advanced Scout, let's take a closer look at the regular season matchups between these two teams.
March 10, at Charlotte: Hornets won 100-90
February 17, at Milwaukee: Hornets won 103-93
January 19, at Charlotte: Bucks won 105-98
November 24, at Milwaukee: Hornets won 106-90
The Man of the Hour -- Baron Davis
, who played brilliantly in the first round against Miami, had a huge impact on the Hornets' performance against the Bucks during the regular season. With Davis in the lineup at point guard, the Hornets outscored the Bucks by a substantial margin of 320-280 (+40). This is a marked improvement from when David Wesley
was at the point for the Hornets, as the score was even 79-79.
Most of the Hornets' success came when the Davis was matched against Milwaukee's Sam Cassell
. With these two players on the court, the Hornets outscored the Bucks 237-207 (+30). Davis' personal statistics included an impressive 51 percent shooting from the floor (19-of-37).
When Davis was matched up with Milwaukee's Lindsey Hunter
, the Hornets outscored the Bucks 60-50 (+10). Davis did not shoot as well against Hunter, making only 33 percent (3-of-9) of his shots. Hunter on the other hand shot better when Davis was on the floor, shooting 53 percent (8-of-15) from the floor, while shooting only 27 percent (3-of-11) when Davis was not on the court.
A Positive for the Bucks
The Hornets played much better when Mark Pope
replaced Tim Thomas
at the power forward spot. With Pope in the game, the Bucks outscored the Hornets 91-80 (+11), shooting a respectable 46 percent (36-of-79). They also controlled the boards, collecting 70 percent (28-of-40) of the defensive rebounds. However when Pope was matched up with P.J. Brown
, the Bucks were actually outscored by the Hornets 75-76 (-1).
With Thomas at the power forward spot, the Bucks were outscored by the Hornets 121-127 (-6). The Bucks shooting percentage dropped slightly to 44 percent (46-of-104) and the Hornets shot a strong 50 percent (51-of-102). The Bucks also lacked power under the boards with Thomas, grabbing only 52 percent (26-of-50) of defensive rebounds.