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News » Knicks-Bucks Preview 2009-11-07

Knicks-Bucks Preview 2009-11-07

Knicks-Bucks Preview 2009-11-07With Michael Redd injured again, the Milwaukee Bucks need Andrew Bogut to pick up the slack.

Bogut looks for a third straight strong performance when the Bucks host the struggling New York Knicks on Saturday night.

The 7-foot Bogut scored a season-high 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in Milwaukee's 87-72 win at Minnesota on Friday. Bogut's big effort followed a 16-point, 13-rebound performance in an 83-81 loss at Chicago on Tuesday.

With Redd - one of the NBA's top scorers - sidelined by a strained tendon in his left knee, the Bucks (2-2) need Bogut to stay healthy and provide a go-to option in their star's absence.

Returning to form after a lower back injury that limited him to 36 games last season, Bogut is averaging 11.8 points and 9.3 rebounds through four games.

"He looks much more like himself. He's moving around well, facing up people," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "He's got a quick first step, is making some nice reads, some nice passes. We're going to him, and he's being productive right now."

Bogut is happy with his strong start but knows he must continue to improve in order to help the Bucks become a consistent winner.

"It's OK," the shaggy-haired former first-round pick said. "There were some speed bumps along the way, but it's normal. I haven't played basketball since January. ... It's been progressing, but there's still a long way to go."

Though it shot 41.5 percent from the field, Milwaukee outscored Minnesota 36-22 in the paint and held a 51-38 rebounding advantage.

With the opposition paying more attention to Bogut, his teammates have a chance to benefit.

While rookie point guard Brandon Jennings was held to nine points and 4 of 16 shooting Friday, his backup Luke Ridnour scored 16 for the Bucks, who outscored the Timberwolves 31-14 in the third quarter.

"Andrew opens it up down there," Ridnour said. "Once a couple guys start hitting shots, confidence goes up."

Milwaukee went 3-1 against New York last season, with the teams splitting the two games played at the Bradley Center.

Bogut has averaged 15.3 points and 13.5 boards in his last four games against the Knicks - all Bucks wins. He got the best of Minnesota big man Al Jefferson on Friday and faces another challenge with New York's David Lee waiting.

Lee had 21 points and Larry Hughes added 18 in the Knicks' 100-91 loss to Cleveland on Friday.

Lost in the shadows of LeBron James' only appearance at Madison Square Garden this season was another dismal effort by New York (1-5). James scored 33 points and the Cavaliers shot 53.5 percent against the Knicks, who are allowing an average of 111.7 points through six games.

While New York continues to struggle defensively, Lee has been a force on the offensive end, averaging 23.0 points in his last three contests. Lee has averaged 15.3 points and 14.6 rebounds in his last three versus the Bucks.

Hughes had 39 points on 13 of 20 shooting in New York's 120-112 win at Milwaukee in the teams' last meeting March 10.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 7, 2009


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