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News » Pistons-Bucks Preview 2009-10-31


Pistons-Bucks Preview 2009-10-31


Pistons-Bucks Preview 2009-10-31Charlie Villanueva spent three seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before signing with the Detroit Pistons over the summer for what he hopes is a better chance to make the playoffs.

The Pistons could be especially happy to have the versatile forward in the lineup as long as Richard Hamilton is sidelined.

With Hamilton sitting out because of a sprained ankle, Villanueva returns to the Bradley Center to face the Bucks on Saturday night in the latest installment of a series dominated by the Pistons in recent years.

Villanueva averaged 13.5 points and 6.3 rebounds for Milwaukee from 2006-09, including career highs of 16.2 and 6.7 last season as the Bucks missed the playoffs for the third straight year.

When the Bucks didn't make Villanueva a qualifying offer over the summer, the unrestricted free agent signed a five-year, $35 million deal with the Pistons on July 8.

"I've never been in the playoffs," Villanueva said. "I'm tired of losing. I have a great chance in Detroit to win some games."

The Pistons (1-1) won their opener at Memphis before falling 91-83 at home to Oklahoma City on Friday night. They played without Hamilton, who will miss at least one more game with a sprained right ankle.

Without their leading scorer for seven straight seasons, the Pistons shot 37.1 percent from the field. Ben Gordon scored 25 points while starting in Hamilton's spot, but Villanueva was held to eight points and 3 of 12 shooting.

"It seemed like there was a lid on that rim," he said.

Villanueva will try to bounce back against his former team, which opened its season with a 99-86 loss at Philadelphia on Friday night.

Despite the defeat, there were encouraging signs for the Bucks, who had Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut in the starting lineup together for the first time since Jan. 14. Redd missed 49 games last season due to a sprained right ankle and two torn knee ligaments, and Bogut played only 36 because of back problems.

Redd had 17 points and six rebounds Friday, and Bogut added eight points and six boards.

Redd and Bogut each missed three of Milwaukee's four games against Detroit last season. They both played in an 87-76 home loss Dec. 27.

The Pistons have won nine of 11 against the Bucks, including five of six at the Bradley Center.

The Bucks hope to end their struggles in the series, and rookie Brandon Jennings could be very helpful in doing so. The 10th overall pick just missed a triple-double in his NBA debut with 17 points, nine assists and nine rebounds Friday.

"I tried to push the tempo, trying to do what I could to help the team win," Jennings said. "If we'd won, I'd be a lot happier. I did feel pretty good out there."

The Bucks could also get a lift from offseason acquisition Carlos Delfino, who can return Saturday after serving a one-game suspension for his role in a preseason fight with Pistons forward Austin Daye.

Delfino averaged 4.4 points for Detroit from 2004-07.

Playing for Chicago, Gordon averaged 23.0 points and 6.0 assists in four games versus Milwaukee last season.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 31, 2009

 

 
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