Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic
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The Bucks displayed one of the their best regular season runs in over a decade, collecting over 50 wins this season, and clinching the Central Division title. They meet the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs. The two teams met four times during the regular-season, with the Bucks winning each encounter and running up over 100 points in three of the four wins. For the Orlando Magic, they'll need to find a way to pull one out the hat if they're to come away with a playoff series win over Milwaukee.
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.
April 16, at Orlando: Bucks won 101-89
March 23, at Milwaukee: Bucks won 115-103
December 26, at Milwaukee: Bucks won 89-77
November 27, at Orlando: Bucks won 104-95
Miller Time: Just not with Allen or Robinson
Mike Miller has had a great Rookie campaign for Orlando but, he hasn't had much Magic against the Bucks. When Miller was in the game the Magic where outscored 306-343 (-37).
A closer look inside the numbers show that when Miller was on the court with the Bucks' 1-2 combination of Ray Allen at shooting guard, and Glen Robinson at small forward, the Bucks handily outscored the Magic. Under these circumstances, over 4 games, the cumulative score in favor of the Bucks was 102-74 (+28). The Bucks also shot an impressive 56 percent (40-of-71) from the floor while the Magic shot a disappointing 33 percent (22-of-66).
For Orlando, there some consolation in the fact that the damage wasnâ€™t as severe when Miller and Robinson were playing the small forward positions. In this case, the Magic were outscored by 8 (167-175), but improved their shooting percentage to 40 percent (59-of-149) and managed to cool the Bucks shooters down to a more respectable 46 percent (65-of-142).
And if Miller's on the floor, and Allen and Robinson are not, then things look much better for the Magic. Over four games, the point differential is just a single point, 65-66 (-1), Magic shooting percentage is up to 53 percent (23-of-43), and the Bucks shooting drops to 40 percent (19-of-43).
Tim Thomas: Powerful at Power Forward
During this off-season Tim Thomas tested the free agent waters but ended up re-signing with Bucks. Seen by many as a natural small forward, he's been seeing more action at the power forward position. When the Bucks had Thomas at power forward, they handily outscored the Magic 145-111 (+34). The Bucks also shot effectively, posting a 48 percent (44-of-91) field goal shooting percentage, and limited the Magic shooters to 36 percent (35-of-98).
In contrast to this, when Thomas played the small forward position, the Bucks only held a slender 3 point advantage (56-53) over the Magic, and their shooting percentage dropped slightly to 44 percent(22-of-50) from the field.