Bucks Monday: Mbah a Moute's impact
DEC 03, 2012 12:33p ET
The first time around against New Orleans, it was a struggle for the Milwaukee Bucks on the defensive end, but they still found a way to win late.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles called it "embarrassingly bad."
The two teams meet again Monday in New Orleans, but a few things are different for both teams from the first meeting on Nov. 17. First off, the Bucks have their defensive stopper back, maybe not for full minutes, but Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is available for Skiles to use when needed.
Check out this stat from NBA.com advanced stats writer John Schuhmann. When Mbah a Moute was on the floor against Boston Saturday, the Celtics shot 5 of 23 from the field. That's the kind of impact that he has and a vital piece to Milwaukee.
Look for Skiles to pick his spots to use Mbah a Moute on Monday, more than likely trying to match him up with the versatile Hornets leading scorer Ryan Anderson.
New Orleans was feeling good coming into the first match-up, at that time it was the "upstart" Hornets. Now they are the struggling without top pick and rookie sensation Anthony Davis, who hasn't played since he scored a career-high 28 points, but suffered a stress reaction in his left ankle against the Bucks on Nov. 17.
Davis was a huge part of the reason the Bucks struggled defensively that night, he was sensational. Anderson was a match-up nightmare for the Bucks at the time, but now Mbah a Moute can check him for at least 10-15 minutes Monday. Without him and with the Bucks adding their stopper, the Hornets shouldn't drop 113 again.
New Orleans is the worst defensive team in the league. Even with Davis on the floor, Milwaukee scored 117 against them. Without him, the Bucks should have no trouble finding ways to score.
Forward Mike Dunleavy told reporters at shootaround Monday morning that he expects to play against the Hornets after missing Saturday's victory over Boston with a knee injury. Dunleavy went through shootaround, which is a good sign that he'll be available.
It's quite obvious the Bucks need this one. The Hornets, losers of nine of their last ten, are without their two best players and struggling, having won just one game since their loss to the Bucks. Skiles will keep the starting lineup the same, with Marquis Daniels and Ekpe Udoh joining Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and John Henson.
Before I wrap today's post up, I'll end with one more stat from Schuhmann. Ellis is 5 of 12 on three-pointers from the corner. Anywhere else beyond the arc: 5 of 42. That's pretty telling.