Bucks Battle LA Lakers Minus Andrew Bogut

By: Adam Markowitz | Friday, January 27, 2012

There are six games that litter the NBA rotation schedule on Saturday night, and there are definitely some notes that have to be taken into consideration for those contests.

Coming into play on Friday, the Eastern Conference playoff race essentially features six teams that are well above .500 and several that are flirting just on the wrong side of .500. The Bucks would be the last team in the postseason right now at just 7-10 SU.

Milwaukee is coming off of its first win on the road at the Houston Rockets since 1999 on Wednesday, when the Bucks notched a 105-99 triumph. It was the team’s third road victory of the season, the first two of which surprisingly came against Eastern Conference contenders, the Miami Heat and New York Knicks.

The only bad news from the win against Houston was that Andrew Bogut suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of the lineup for at least the next two weeks. Without Bogut in the fold, the Bucks only have two men that are averaging double-digits in scoring (Brandon Jennings and Stephen Jackson), and only Ersan Ilyasova is averaging more than 5.2 RPG on the team.

Bogut had already missed five games this year, all coming on the road against Western Conference opponents. The Bucks went 0-5 SU and just 1-4 ATS. The good news on Saturday is that they will be back at home. The bad news is that the team coming to town is the Los Angeles Lakers, a squad with no shortage of big men that it can throw the Bucks’ way.

Tip time from Milwaukee's Bradley Center is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET).

As for those Rockets, the home loss to Milwaukee was a bit of a shock for a team that is 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS on its own floor. Houston welcomes the New York Knicks to Toyota Center on Saturday night at 8:00 (ET).

Saturday's nationally televised game on NBA TV pits the Utah Jazz against the Sacramento Kings. On paper, this looks like a horrendous mismatch. Not only is Utah 5.5-games in front of the Kings in the standings, but the Jazz are 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS when playing at EnergySolutions Arena, while the Kings are just 2-9 SU and ATS on the road.

Sacramento’s defense ranks dead last in the league, allowing 102.6 PPG, and the unit has been atrocious of late. Over the last three games, all of which were defeats both SU and ATS, the Kings allowed an average of 117.0 PPG. Utah enters this one having scored at least 106 in five out of six.

This clash on the NBA hardwood is set for 9:00 (ET).

The Washington Wizards and Charlotte Bobcats battle for the second time in just three days when they meet Saturday at Time Warner Cable Arena  at 7:00 (ET).  Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference at the same time, the Philadelphia 76ers will look to extend their lead in the Atlantic Division when they take on the Detroit Pistons.

The other Western Conference game on the NBA slate pits the Phoenix Suns against the Memphis Grizzlies in a 9:00 (ET) affair.

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