Salmons practices, but can Bucks get healthy by opening night?

Earl Boykins taught him this move.

JS: Salmons takes important step
Could the Bucks actually have a healthy roster on opening night? We're not there yet, but things are at least heading in the right direction...slowly. Notably, John Salmons--the only probable starter missing on Sunday against Minnesota--is "very confident" he'll be ready for the October 27 opener against New Orleans. Charles Gardner writes that Salmons practiced for the first time on Tuesday and may play in Friday's MACC Fund game.

"I did some running and a little bit of shooting," Salmons said of his activity Tuesday. "Not a whole lot of cutting yet. Maybe do some of that tomorrow and just go from there.

"Just go day-by-day and see if the swelling goes down. It's feeling pretty good right now."

Corey Maggette also continues to practice, but the Bucks have been playing it safe and have yet to test his surgically-repaired ankle in live game action. In fact, Gery Woelfel writes that Maggette is still a doubt for the season opener.

"It's getting better, but this is a tough injury to come back from," Maggette said after Tuesday's practice at the Cousins Center in Milwaukee. "Right now, it's not even 80 percent (healed).

"I'm still going at half speed; I can't go full throttle yet."

And speaking of ankles, Jon Brockman and Luc Mbah a Moute continue to sit out with their respective ankle injuries, though neither issue sounds overly serious.

B-R: Bucks season preview
The incomparable crew at Basketball Reference serves up their Bucks season preview, with a little help from our man Dan Sinclair.

Courtside Analyst: Win stats through 5 exhibitions
Ty crunches the numbers for the Bucks' first five games.

Bucksketball: Drew Gooden will help the Milwaukee Bucks defense immensely
Drew Gooden has been one of the bright spots over the past few weeks--and not just because he's been healthy enough to play. Jeremy writes that it's a trend we can expect to continue.

I’m not saying he’s going to suddenly be an All-NBA defender, but Gooden will have a lot of room for error with Bogut behind him and, in addition to his strength, has the quickness Ilyasova lacks. Not too many power forwards in the league will be able to blow by or over power Gooden with ease.

Bucks.com: The coach’s perspective
Truman Reed offers up the first in a series on Mr. Skiles, now entering year three of his Milwaukee tenure.

“I don’t talk about myself too much,” Skiles said. “Hopefully I’m always getting better. You don’t want to all of a sudden stop and say, ‘I’m as good as I’m going to be.’ During the season, postseason, deep into the summer, I’m always looking at games and seeing things I could have done differently, decisions I made.

“But you know, the game is going quickly. You have a plan. You have information. You make the decisions as best you can. Sometimes they don’t work. You feel like you’re making them for the right reasons. They just didn’t pan out. Hopefully I’m always getting better.”

Funny how the consensus two years ago was that Skiles was a great hire--but that he'd wear out his welcome in fairly short order. No mention of the fact that Skiles might have learned from his previous failings or that he has the capacity to get better as a coach.   

Hoops World: Hobson waits
Good read from Alex Kennedy on the Darington Hobson situation:

The Bucks have guaranteed some of Hobson's $473,604 contract, and are handling his medical expenses. His deal has trigger points in which more dollars are guaranteed the longer he remains on the roster, but there is a very real chance that Hobson is going to be cut as the season progresses, mainly to recover the roster spot.

As expected, the Bucks waived Chris Kramer on Tuesday to bring their roster down to 16 spots, meaning the only decision left is whether to keep Brian Skinner at the expense of Hobson. Skinner would be of obvious use from a depth perspective, especially given the ongoing questions about Bogut's health, Brockman's current unavailability, and Larry Sanders' rawness. But to me--and maybe I'm just being the naive optimist--that's not a good enough reason to cut bait on Hobson quite yet. Skinner was available a month ago for the same reason that guys like Skinner will be available throughout the season: he's not good at basketball. So while a long-term injury to Bogut in particular would force the Bucks to reassess their big man situation, I'm not a big fan of keeping Skinner just to play it safe. Hobson was considered by many to be a first round talent, so I'm hoping he gets his chance to prove it...even if it's not this year.   

Bucks.com: Bucks get their grocery on
I'm always overly amused by the Bucks' annual trip to the grocery store. And I particularly like that they had Ersan Ilyasova playing the role of greeter.

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