Bobcats-Bucks Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks began their current homestand with plenty of questions, especially considering they were without top scorer Michael Redd.

With a win Friday night over the Charlotte Bobcats, they can finish it in near-perfect fashion, and they may get Redd back to form a menacing scoring tandem with emerging rookie Brandon Jennings.

A 115-113 overtime loss to Dallas on Monday has been Milwaukee's only defeat in the first five games of this homestand, and the surprising Bucks (6-3) have won five of six overall.

The arrival of Jennings, who leads the team and all NBA rookies with 24.8 points per game, has been the biggest factor. He's helped Milwaukee to its best nine-game start since going 8-1 in 2001-02 and has made up for the absence of Redd, the Bucks' leading scoring in each of the last six seasons.

Redd has missed the last seven games due to a strained tendon in his left knee. He was originally projected to miss two weeks.

The 6-foot-1 Jennings put up 55 points in a win over Golden State last week, and he had 19 points and eight assists Wednesday to help overcome his season-high eight turnovers in a 99-85 win over New Jersey.

While Redd may be on the way back, the Bucks will have to do without Andrew Bogut. The Australian center, averaging 16.1 points and a team-high 9.2 rebounds while shooting 56.5 percent, is expected to miss at least two weeks after suffering a left leg injury in Wednesday's victory.

Bogut's absence may mean more playing time for Dan Gadzuric, who has averaged less than 10 minutes in Milwaukee's first nine games.

Carlos Delfino and Andrew Bogut each scored 21, with Delfino going 4 of 8 from 3-point range and reaching double digits for the first time this season after missing time due to illness last weekend.

"I feel great," Delfino said. "I'm working on getting back into game shape and I felt a lot better than I have. Hopefully it carries into Friday."

The victory over the winless Nets was the Bucks' latest over a relatively weak opponent. Five of their wins have come against teams that currently have losing records, including three of the league's worst teams in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey.

"Our guys have done a good job with a favorable schedule," coach Scott Skiles said. "We've got one more home game, we'd like to get that, but now the pace really picks up."

Milwaukee embarks on a four-game road trip after Friday's game against the Bobcats, who figure to present another opportunity for a win considering they've lost six straight.

The Bobcats (3-8) have averaged 79.7 points in losing all six of their road games. They also dropped their last six away from home last season, with their most recent road victory coming March 27 against Philadelphia.

Charlotte could not pull out a win at the 76ers on Wednesday despite a strong performance from newcomer Stephen Jackson, who scored 26 in his second game with the Bobcats following a trade with Golden State.

Coach Larry Brown's team was again victimized by turnovers in the 86-84 defeat. The Bobcats had 16 in the game, slightly below their league-worst average of 17.6.

"I thought we did a pretty darn good job," Brown told the Bobcats' official Web site. "We defended pretty well and did a good job, but every game there are a bunch of turnovers."

One more loss and Charlotte will match its longest skid from last season, set Dec. 5-15. The Bobcats are 1-8 at the Bradley Center since their inception in 2004.