The Bucks Must Defeat Orlando
Maybe I'm Chicken Little, but while everyone is talking about the Bucks play-off seeding I'm still far from convinced that they will make the play-offs. The Bucks have a scant 3 game cushion between them and the suddenly red-hot Chicago Bulls and they have a brutal 8 game schedule remaining to be played.
On that schedule I count only 3 probable wins, and two of them are on the road. They are: at Orlando tonight, at New York, and home to Atlanta. The Bucks must win all 3 of those games, yet we all know they are just as capable of losing all of them.
Those games are crucial because the other 5 remaining games -- depending on the opponent's effort level, of course -- will be extremely difficult to win. At Memphis, home to New Jersey, a home and away with Washington, and home to Detroit. Those are all play-off teams, i.e. the kind of teams the Bucks have struggled to beat in 2006. Now, they should probably take one of those Wizard games, but everything else is dicey.
That is why they must win tonight. They cannot afford a slip-up.