|13/14 NBA Preseason|
|October 10, 2013|
|The Pentagon | Sioux Falls, SD|
|FS Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ|
|Brandon Knight||PG||Ricky Rubio|
|O.J. Mayo||SG||Kevin Martin|
|Caron Butler||SF||Corey Brewer|
|John Henson||PF||Kevin Love|
|Larry Sanders||C||Nikola Pekovic|
|2012/13 Advanced Stats|
|94.7 (3rd)||Pace||92.3 (13th)|
|103.6 (22nd)||ORtg||104.3 (19th)|
|105.2 (12th)||DRtg||109.4 (27th)|
On the Wolves: Canis Hoopus | Timber Pups | A Wolf Among Wolves
Wolves update. Following a preseason-opening loss to Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow, the Wolves downed the Raptors in Toronto on Wednesday before packing their bags for South Dakota. Kevin Love's 20 points and nine boards in 26 minutes led the way for Minny, which finally has Love and Ricky Rubio both healthy after an injury-riddled 12/13 campaign. It hasn't been all good news in Minnesota, however. The newly-re-signed Chase Budinger suffered another knee injury just as camp tipped off and could be out for months following arthroscopic surgery.
Jackrabbit comes home. Nate Wolters probably didn't expect to be back playing in South Dakota quite so soon (or, you know, ever), but it turns out the former South Dakota State star didn't have to wait long before returning to his old stomping grounds. Plenty of SDSU fans are expected to be in attendance Thursday night to cheer on Nasty Nate in the first game ever played at the sold-out new Sanford Pentagon arena, so hopefully the rookie--who looked perfectly OK in fourth quarter action on Tuesday--gets a more extended look tonight.
Ersan sits, Henson starts? Over the summer it felt like the Bucks had one too many big men on the roster. Now? Well not so much. With Zaza Pachulia (Achilles) and Ekpe Udoh (sore knee) nursing injuries back home, the Bucks were dealt another blow to their frontline depth when Ersan Ilyasova went down with a nasty ankle sprain on Tuesday night in Cleveland. While two rounds of x-rays did not reveal any fractures, the timetable for Ersan's return is as of yet unclear and he was still in plenty of pain after the game. Via Charles Gardner:
"I had twisted that ankle before but never that bad," Ilyasova said. "We're going to have another X-ray tomorrow and we'll see.
"I can't even step on it. It hurts that much but I will get a lot of treatment and try to get back. It's really disappointing."
The silver lining is that we'll presumably get a more extended look at John Henson The Starter--and hopefully some indication of how he and Larry Sanders can complement rather than get in each other's way up front. While many are already pegging the duo as key building blocks for the Bucks' long term future, it's worth noting that the pair played a mere 107 minutes together last season. Henson will draw the unenviable task of matching up with inside-out threat Kevin Love tonight, which figures to be a great test of his defensive versatility.
More Giannis, please. Rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo had his share of teachable moments in Cleveland on Tuesday (5 turnovers), but that shouldn't take too much of the shine off an otherwise exceptional debut. With Caron Butler easing his way into the preseason and Khris Middleton still shaking off an ankle injury, the 18-year-old played a game-high 29 minutes and put up a better stat line that most anyone could have expected: 14 points (3/7 fg, 1/3 threes, 7/10 ft), 4 rebs, 3 blk, 2 ast, 2 stl. His length, ball-handling and passing feel were evident from the start, and if he can continue to show improvement through the preseason he would likely be in line for regular rotation minutes while Carlos Delfino work his way back from a broken foot (which could be a while).