PLAYOFF RACE – With just 11 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 meantime,
Milwaukee's two games leading up to the showdown are against teams with a combined .604 winning percentage,
while New York's next two games before facing the Bucks are both against the 43-13 (.768) Chicago Bulls. Here's
a breakdown of the remaining schedule for both teams:
|Against Teams >=.500 (H/A)
|Against Teams <.500 (H/A)
30 THE HARD WAY – Monta Ellis' 30-point performance on Wednesday night vs. Cleveland was unique – not only
because 16 of his 30 points came in the final 4:32 of the game – but because all the scoring came off of two-point
shots. In the last 25 years, only two Bucks players have scored 30+ points with no thee-point field goals made and
no free throws made: Ellis and Glenn Robinson, who scored 30 points at San Antonio on 12/23/01.
TURNOVER TREAT – The Bucks rank 4th in the NBA in forcing turnovers (16.20 per game). They harassed the
Bobcats into 20 total TOs last night, swiping a season-high 14 steals in the process. It was the sixth time in the last
seven games they've forced 15+ opponent turnovers, and the 10th game this season with 20 or more opponent
turnovers – tied with the Miami Heat for the most games with 20+ opponent turnovers in the NBA this season.
SUP-ERSAN – Ilyasova is having a breakout season, posting career highs in scoring (12.8 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg), FG% (.488), 3P% (.416), 20-point
games (10) and double-doubles (16). What makes Ersan stand out as a Most Improved candidate, though, is that he's accomplished it all in just 27.7
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 (98.8 ppg, T6th), 100-point games (27,
4th) and offensive rating (102.5, 14th). 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 7th in the league at 34.2 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 43.9% from three on the season,
tied for the 8th-best mark in the NBA and on pace for the best 3-point shooting season by a Buck since Dell Curry shot 47.6 % during the 1998-99 season.
- It was also llyasova's seventh game this season with 15+ rebounds. He had two such
games over his first three season combined.
- Milwaukee set a new high for steals in a game against Charlotte with 14, five by Brandon Jennings alone.
Jennings currently ranks 10th in the NBA in steals per game with 1.69.
- The Bucks have scored 50+ points in the first half in 12 of their last 13 games, and held the halftime lead in
all 12 of those outings.
- Milwaukee leads the league in charges drawn with 2.9 per game. Phoenix, which sits in second place,
- The Bucks rank T-6th in the NBA in points per game with 98.8 and 3rd in assists per game with 23.51. They
ranked 30th in both of those categories last season.