Grizzlies vs. Bucks Preview: Beno Udrih out, John Henson back as big, bad Grizzlies come to Milwaukee

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Bucks will be hoping to run their record to 3-0 when they host Memphis at the Bradley Center on Wednesday. But while John Henson could see his first action of the season, the Bucks will be without backup combo guard Beno Udrih (thigh bruise).

2012/2013 NBA Season
Mem_medium
(2-1, 1-1 road)
@
Mil_medium
(2-0, 1-0 home)
November 7, 2012
BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI
7:00 CT
FS Wisconsin / 620 WTMJ
Probable Starters
Mike Conley PG Brandon Jennings
Tony Allen SG Monta Ellis
Rudy Gay SF Tobias Harris
Zach Randolph PF Ersan Ilyasova
Marc Gasol C Samuel Dalembert
2011/12 Advanced Stats
96.6 (3rd) Pace 98.2 (1st)
103.2 (16th) ORtg 103.9 (13th)
99.8 (10th) DRtg 96.8 (3rd)

On the Grizzlies: Straight Outta Vancouver | Three Shades of Blue

Udrih out, Henson in. The Bucks face their first real injury test of the season on Wednesday, as Beno Udrih will miss tonight's game after suffering a deep thigh bruise in a practice collision with Ersan Ilyasova on Tuesday. So what will Scott Skiles do with his only backup point guard sidelined?

"Doron (Lamb) will play more," Skiles said after practice Tuesday. "Marquis (Daniels) may play more. Memphis is a very good club, and we are going to have to play well anyways. Brandon (Jennings) and Monta (Ellis) may play more minutes even."

Hopefully the injury won't sideline Udrih for long, but it does change up the Bucks' rotations since they don't have another "real" point guard behind Jennings. The news was better for John Henson, who could be poised to make his NBA debut after practicing the past couple days.

"He struggled a little bit (in camp) to pick up what we're doing," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "His talent is obvious. All you have to do is watch him a few minutes in an exhibition game to see what type of upside he has.

"His talent was evident today, and the fact he's missed a bunch of time. But we have (practice) tomorrow and shootaround Wednesday, so he's got some time to get back in the groove a little bit and figure out what we're doing."

With Udrih and Luc Mbah a Moute hurt, Henson becomes a lock to claim one of the 13 active roster spots, though whether he actually plays on Wednesday is less clear. Larry Sanders has been terrific in the Bucks' first two games, though Skiles hasn't said if it will be enough to wrest the starting center spot from the underwhelming Sam Dalembert. My guess is that the Bucks will need much more from Dalembert against the Grizzlies, who handled the Bucks rather easily during the exhibition season even with Gasol and Randolph being rested. The starters are a load to handle down low, but don't forget about Marreese Speights off the bench, either--his energy and touch caused all sorts of problems for the Bucks two weeks ago.

The Bucks will also no doubt be hoping Ersan Ilyasova can get on track after a so-so night in Boston and forgettable home opener on Saturday. Ersan dropped 20/16 when the Grizz beat the Bucks 99-95 in Milwaukee a season ago and makes for an interesting matchup with Randolph, who won't enjoy chasing Ersan around the perimeter but should be able to use his size against Ilyasova on the block.

Brandon. Jennings' career-high-tying 13 assists in each of the season's first two games has understandably drawn attention, though Clint Peterson writes at Hardwood Paroxysm that those kinds of big numbers won't last. No argument here: if Brandon ends up anywhere north of seven assists per game I'll be very pleased. In case you're curious, Brandon tallied six double-digit assist games all of last season with two of those back-to-back. In 10/11 he hit 10+ assists four times and managed the feat just thrice as a rookie.

Grizzlies update. Memphis moved to 2-1 with a 103-94 win over the Jazz on Monday, riding Marc Gasol's 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and some solid work from their bench after falling behind early at home. Memphis fans also got a first look at new owner Robert Pera before the home opener, but on the court it's been Gasol who has stepped up in a big way through three games. Though his rebounding has been underwhelming, he's scored 20+ points (first time he's ever done that in his career) and notched at least five assists in each of the season's first three games.

The first thing most people focus on when facing Memphis is their size up front: neither Gasol nor Randolph are great athletes, but they're damn big, skilled and know how to use their size to get to their spots on both ends. The Bucks added size this summer precisely for matchups like these, though Dalembert hasn't made much of an impact to date (just 25 minutes through two games) and Skiles has (thankfully) only given Joel Przybilla a handful of minutes through two games. I don't think the Bucks need to play Przybilla to win games, but this is the kind of game where he could actually be of use--especially if Sanders continues to rack up fouls like nobody's business.

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