|2013/14 NBA Season|
|November 1, 2013|
|TD Garden | Boston, MA|
|FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ / Audio League Pass|
|Gary Neal||PG||Avery Bradley|
|O.J. Mayo||SG||Jeff Green|
|Caron Butler||SF||Gerald Wallace|
|Ersan Ilyasova||PF||Brandon Bass|
|Larry Sanders||C||Vitor Faverani|
|2013/14 Advanced Stats|
|94.5 (18th)||Pace||89.8 (26th)|
|87.8 (30th)||ORtg||94.5 (28th)|
|95.2 (7th)||DRtg||106.3 (17th)|
Points taken. Just when it appeared the Bucks were starting to get healthy, Luke Ridnour (back spasms) and Brandon Knight (strained right hamstring) were smitten down by injuries on Wednesday, leaving young Nate Wolters and Gary Neal to pick up the pieces in New York. And for now it appears they'll have to do it again tonight in Boston, as both Knight and Ridnour have been listed as doubtful for tonight's encounter with the rebuilding C's.
Knight had missed the last two preseason games with a bothersome left hamstring, but note that it was his right hammy that he tweaked in New York. There's been no suggestion yet that the injury is serious, but in my medicaly unqualified opinion he certainly didn't look like a guy who was going to be able to play basketball this weekend. Hopefully I'm wrong.
UPDATE: Per Sean Deveney of the Sporting News:
Bucks coach Larry Drew says both point guards, Brandon Knight and Luke Ridnour will be out vs @celtics tonight.— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) November 1, 2013
Wolters' NBA debut in New York was memorable if not particularly auspicious, as he struggled to cope with the Knicks' pressure early on before settling down as the game went on. His 30-minute, 3/12 shooting line (9 pts, 4 ast, 2 to) included a handful of bail-out jumpers (including one prayer that actually went in) and a couple of ballsy drives right at former defensive player of the year Tyson Chandler, but those ended up about as you'd expect (with the ball swatted into the first row). Still, his trial by fire could have gone worse. Meanwhile, Gary "Green Light" Neal became the de facto backup point guard and, in the midst of gunning 16 shots for 16 points, also had the decency to hand out five assists. Both struggled to get the Bucks into their offense quickly in New York, and the team generally seemed a bit spooked playing without a proven point guard against the Knicks' pressuring defense.
The Celtics of course know a thing or two about coping without a starting point guard, as Rajon Rondo has been relegated to coaching from the bench while rehabilitating from a torn ACL last spring. Defensive wizard Avery Bradley is the starter until he's ready to go, with combo gunner Jordan Crawford deputizing off the bench. It's not yet known when Rondo might be back, though the Celtics' rebuilding has many suspecting that Rondo will a) be given all the time in the world to return and b) could be on the trading block as soon as he's healthy. New coach Brad Stevens, GM Danny Ainge and Rondo himself are saying all the right things for now, but his future will likely be the dominant storyline of the C's season.
Celtics update. Boston dropped its opener in Toronto on Wednesday, erasing a 16-point deficit before falling to Rudy Gay and company. Some notes heading into tonight's game:
- Combo forward Jeff Green was at his aggressive best starting at shooting guard (25 points), and figures to make an interesting matchup for the smaller O.J. Mayo to start the game.
- I had no idea who Vitor Faverani was until about a week ago, but for those not in the know: yes, he's an NBA player. And yes, he started in the Celtics' season-opening loss to the Raptors, and yes, he did just fine, thanks (13 pts on 9 shots, 3 reb, 3 blk, 5 pf in 27 min).
- Jared Sullinger did not play in Toronto due to a suspension for an off-court domestic violence incident (charges were dropped), but he'll be back tonight and it may impact Stevens' direction at the big spots. The former Butler coach prefers Sullinger with rookie Kelly Olynyk up front, and as a result it's possible they could bump Faverani and Brandon Bass to the bench unit.
Bucks coach Larry Drew said Ersan Ilyasova looked good at shootaround and likely to be in starting lineup.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) November 1, 2013