The Milwaukee Bucks are one banged up team.
Point guards Brandon Knight and Luke Ridnour are not medially cleared to play Friday night (that could change with Ridnour, but he was out as of this writing). Reserve shooting guard Gary Neal has a foot injury that kept him out of the last game. Small forward Carlos Delfino could miss the entire season. Ersan Ilyasova’s ankle has him sitting at home and not on he team’s road trip. At center both Larry Sanders (thumb) and Zaza Pachulia are out.
Now, you can add Caron Butler to the list.
The starting small forward is out against the Pacers Friday with a shoulder injury, reports the Journal-Sentinel. He’s expected to miss a couple of games.
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That means you can expect Khris Middleton and John Henson to get the start Friday night against undefeated Indiana.
Henson has looked good this season when Larry Drew has given him the chance. The Bucks have a promising potential front line with Sanders and Henson, but Drew is going with veterans he trusts more to get the starts and key minutes. Not sure why the Bucks want to play for now and not developing the future, but that seems to be the plan.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.