Four days after making his Bucks debut in Chicago, Greg Monroe faces his former club as the Milwaukee Bucks host the Detroit Pistons at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Saturday night. The game will have special significance as it's also the 39th annual MACC Fund game, with proceeds going to benefit childhood cancer research (tickets).
Monroe played his entire career in the Motor City before signing a three-year, $51 million deal with the Bucks this offseason. In Detroit, he averaged 14.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per contest in five seasons with the Pistons. Last season was the first time in his career he averaged a double-double, scoring 15.9 points and pulling down 10.2 rebounds a night.
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The 6-foot-11 center will likely start the game against the man he played next to the last three seasons: Andre Drummond. Drummond played a team-high 35 minutes for the Pistons against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, so don't expect him to be limited.
Meanwhile, former Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova will be suiting up in the visitor's locker room after spending his first seven NBA seasons in Milwaukee. In mid-June the Bucks dealt Ilyasova to the Pistons for the non-guaranteed contracts of Caron Butler and Shawne Williams, a move that freed up $8 million in additional cap space and ironically helped facilitate the Monroe signing. While with the Bucks, Turkish Thunder averaged 10.7 points and six rebounds while shooting 37 percent from deep, including a team-best 18.3 points per 36 minutes last season.
The Bucks hit the road and played the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday for their first preseason contest, losing 105-95 despite the Bulls missing Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, Mike Dunleavy and Taj Gibson. Rookie Rashad Vaughn started the game and played well, leading all Bucks players with 20 points in a team-high 35 minutes. Despite committing four turnovers, the former UNLV Rebel nailed three triples and shot 8-of-14 from the field.
Vaughn's role on the Bucks' bench is expected to be limited considering he's a 19-year-old rookie behind veteran shooters like O.J. Mayo, Greivis Vasquez and Chris Copeland. But if he keeps shooting well, there's a chance he could snag some valuable minutes during the regular season. Jason Kidd hasn't said anything so far that would make anybody think he isn't going to see decent time this year, either.
Damien Inglis was also a bright spot for the Bucks, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine boards, nearly a double-double in his first real game in 18 months (sorry Summer League).
Jabari Parker (anterior cruciate ligament) did not participate in the preseason opener, and although he's been practicing throughout the week, you get the feeling that he may not play much or at all during the preseason. We'll know closer to game tip if he's inactive once again.
Chris Copeland (personal) and Tyler Ennis (shoulder surgery) also missed the game against the Bulls, but expect Copeland to be back tonight. Ennis
Here's everything else you need to know for the game:
On the Pistons: Detroit Bad Boys
|2015/16 NBA Season|
|October 6, 2015|
|BMO Harris Bradley Center | Milwaukee, WI|
|No Local TV | NBA League Pass | 620 WTMJ|
|Michael Carter-Williams||PG||Reggie Jackson|
|Rashad Vaughn||SG||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope|
|Khris Middleton||SF||Ersan Ilyasova|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||PF||Marcus Morris|
|Greg Monroe||C||Andre Drummond|
|2014/15 Advanced Stats|
|102.7 (26th)||ORtg||105.3 (15th)|
|102.2 (4th)||DRtg||106.4 (19th)