Surprise playoff participants in 2010, the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Bobcats each had high expectations coming into this season. However, neither club has played like postseason contenders through two games.
One of these early underachievers will earn their first victory as they meet Saturday night in Milwaukee.
Charlotte (0-2) went 44-38 and reached the playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s six seasons. Milwaukee (0-2), meanwhile, won 46 games to snap a three-season postseason drought. Each team won twice at home to split the four-game series in 2009-10.
Though both teams made first-round playoff exits, they expect to carry over the momentum earned from those successful seasons to this one. However, both are not off to the kind of starts they had hoped.
After falling 101-86 at Dallas to open the season, the Bobcats lost 104-101 to Indiana at home Friday. Charlotte lost just 10 times at home last season.
Wallace had 29 points against the Pacers, but the Bobcats were outscored 31-21 in the fourth quarter. Charlotte also committed 17 turnovers, giving it 38 through two games.
“We have to figure out a way to not keep turning the ball over,” Bobcats coach Larry Brown said.
Wallace is averaging just 9.8 points in 11 career games at Milwaukee.
Avoiding a third straight loss could be a challenge for the Bobcats, who went 13-28 away from home last season. The Bobcats are 1-10 all-time at Milwaukee, and averaged 89.2 points during a five-game skid at the Bradley Center.
After going 28-13 at home last season, the Bucks should be excited to open that portion of their schedule Saturday. However, the Bucks likely need to shoot the ball better if they want to carry over that success at the Bradley Center.
Milwaukee has shot 39.0 percent and averaged 88.0 in its two defeats. The Bucks shot 35.6 percent in a 96-85 loss at Minnesota on Friday.
Veteran swingman John Salmons(notes) averaged 19.9 points in 30 games for Milwaukee after being acquired in a trade with Chicago last season, but has 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting in two games. Salmons, however, has averaged 22.4 points in his last five games versus Charlotte.