Chris Copeland had appeared in just 37 games for the Pacers coming into Wednesday night’s contest against the league-worst Bucks, and had averaged just 5.7 minutes per contest.
But when you decide to rest all five starters in a desperate attempt to get right before the playoffs, other guys will obviously get the chance to step up and produce.
Copeland did exactly that, pouring in 18 points off the bench in just 17 minutes of action, including this tough game-winner with 1.2 seconds remaining that helped his head coach’s strategy pay off — but just barely.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.
Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.