TV: NBA TV
- Philadelphia coach Doug Collins made a lineup change simply because of the speed in Milwaukee’s backcourt. Collins said that Royal Ivey would start at guard alongside Jrue Holiday, with Evan Turner moving to small forward and Dorell Wright coming off the bench. “We cannot guard Monta Ellis and (Brandon) Jennings with Evan and Dorell. That’s not a good matchup for us. We’ve got to put speed out there with them. It’s not anything Dorell did or did not do, but we have to have a better matchup to start the game. We can’t ask Evan to be chasing Monta Ellis.” Veteran Jason Richardson might have been an option instead of Ivey, but he will miss his second straight game with a left knee injury.
- Bucks center Larry Sanders has made great strides in his third season, but his ejection in the third quarter of a 110-104 victory at Portland Saturday was his second early exit with two technical fouls this season. Sanders also was ejected from a Nov. 21 game at Miami. ”Larry’s made strides,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. “He took a step back in Portland; he’ll readily admit that.” Boylan also took some of the blame. “I need to help him more with that,” Boylan said. “I need to recognize when I see him kind of going down the wrong path, so to speak. But Larry realizes, and he’s made a lot of progress in controlling those emotions. I said to Larry, ‘I’d rather have a guy who’s too emotional than a guy who has no emotion at all.’ I’d rather try to turn a guy down a little bit than try to turn him up. Larry’s working at it; we’re all working at it and I think it’s going to be fine.
- The Bucks recalled rookie guard Doron Lamb from Fort Wayne of the D-League, but Lamb will be unavailable with a sprained ankle he suffered Friday in his second game with the Mad Ants. Also, swingman Marquis Daniels is unavailable because of illness, meaning veteran center Joel Przybilla will dress.
- After a 3-1 road trip improved their mark away from the Bradley Center to 11-9, the Bucks are just one of four teams with a better percentage on the road than at home. They’re 10-9 at the Bradley Center and know they need to improve on that. “We haven’t played particularly well at home,” Boylan said. “If we want to be a serious playoff team, we need to take care of our home court. That starts tonight.” Chicago (12-11 home, 12-5 road), Charlotte (5-17 home, 5-14 road) and New Orleans (7-14 home, 7-13 road) are the other three teams with better road winning percentages.
– Rick Braun