Bobcats-Bucks Preview

Surprise playoff participants in 2010, the Milwaukee Bucks and

Charlotte Bobcats each had high expectations coming into this

season. However, neither club has played like postseason contenders

through two games.

One of these early underachievers will earn their first victory

as they meet Saturday night in Milwaukee.

Charlotte (0-2) went 44-38 and reached the playoffs for the

first time in the franchise’s six seasons. Milwaukee (0-2),

meanwhile, won 46 games to snap a three-season postseason drought.

Each team won twice at home to split the four-game series in

2009-10.

Though both teams made first-round playoff exits, they expect to

carry over the momentum earned from those successful seasons to

this one. However, both are not off to the kind of starts they had

hoped.

After falling 101-86 at Dallas to open the season, the Bobcats

lost 104-101 to Indiana at home Friday. Charlotte lost just 10

times at home last season.

“We have to get a win and get the season started in the right

direction, Gerald Wallace told the Bobcats’ official website. “We

will never quit and continue to fight.”

Wallace had 29 points against the Pacers, but the Bobcats were

outscored 31-21 in the fourth quarter. Charlotte also committed 17

turnovers, giving it 38 through two games.

“We have to figure out a way to not keep turning the ball

over,” Bobcats coach Larry Brown said.

Wallace is averaging just 9.8 points in 11 career games at

Milwaukee.

Avoiding a third straight loss could be a challenge for the

Bobcats, who went 13-28 away from home last season. The Bobcats are

1-10 all-time at Milwaukee, and averaged 89.2 points during a

five-game skid at the Bradley Center.

After going 28-13 at home last season, the Bucks should be

excited to open that portion of their schedule Saturday. However,

the Bucks likely need to shoot the ball better if they want to

carry over that success at the Bradley Center.

Milwaukee has shot 39.0 percent and averaged 88.0 in its two

defeats. The Bucks shot 35.6 percent in a 96-85 loss at Minnesota

on Friday.

“I think right now we’re in like cruise control, and we need to

change that. Fast.” said guard Brandon Jennings, who had 14 points

and seven assists Friday.

Veteran swingman John Salmons averaged 19.9 points in 30 games

for Milwaukee after being acquired in a trade with Chicago last

season, but has 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting in two games.

Salmons, however, has averaged 22.4 points in his last five games

versus Charlotte.

Corey Maggette has scored 39 points in his first two games with

Milwaukee. He’s averaged 24.1 points in eight lifetime contests

versus Charlotte.