The Bucks and Rockets will continue jockeying for playoff seeding in their respective conferences when they meet at the Bradley Center.
With 10 games remaining, the Bucks don’t just want to make the playoffs. They hope to be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and host the first two games of a first-round series.
After winning 115-105 at Chicago on Friday, the Bucks are within a half-game of fourth-place New Orleans.
“We want to get up in that fourth slot to have home-court advantage,” Bucks forward Desmond Mason said. “As long as you’re in the playoffs, anything can happen if you come out ready to play basketball.”
Though the Bucks have lost nine of their last 12, they play six of their final 10 at the Bradley Center, where they are 24-11 this season.
“It’s really getting tough, so right now we have to take care of our own,” Milwaukee’s Damon Jones said. “We’re in control of our own destiny. We hope to put a string of consistent efforts together and get a great rhythm going into the playoffs.”
Houston is currently in seventh place in the West standings, four games in front of eighth-place Utah and 2 1/2 behind Dallas.
The only problem is, the Rockets are a little too comfortable, according to All-Star center Yao Ming.
Houston lost 109-86 to Memphis on Friday, a performance that drew criticism from the team’s 7-foot-4 center.
“We weren’t ready to play,” Yao said. “We feel like we’ve already gotten into the playoffs, so we don’t have to worry. It feels like something we’ve already achieved.”