Milwaukee's first exhibition game of the 2015-16 season will be against the team that ended their magical 2014-15 campaign. Preseason basketball for the Bucks gets underway tonight inside the United Center against the Chicago Bulls.
Jabari Parker's first game in Chicago against his hometown team will not be this evening, as he stated Monday that he will not play in the preseason opener. Parker practiced four straight days last week in Madison, but did declare that it was him who decided to sit out against the Bulls.
"It was me initially," Parker said about the decision, via Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I don't think it would be the right way to go about it, especially where I'm at right now. I'm on a rebuild and I don't want to cut any corners. I want to make sure that I go in 110 instead of 100%."
Jason Kidd didn't rule out Parker returning to the floor this preseason for the first time since anterior cruciate surgery.
"He will play at some point but (Tuesday) he's not playing," Kidd said.
"We've got a plan and we'll stick to it early on and hopefully build his base and eventually get to where he can play a heavy load. That's going to take a little time."
Along with Parker, guard Tyler Ennis will also sit out against the Bulls. Ennis is still waiting to be cleared for contact after shoulder surgery in May. No other Bucks players have been ruled out, yet.
It's the preseason, and Tom Thibodeau isn't coaching the Bulls anymore, but you bet Jimmy Butler is still playing extra minutes. Butler and Joakim Noah are the only Bulls starters projected to play for Chicago, who will rest three key players: Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich. Fred Hoiberg told Chicago media on Sunday they will all sit.
Derrick Rose sustained a left orbital injury last week (the same injury Larry Sanders sustained in 2013-14), and his timetable for return is unclear. The Bulls are hoping he'll be ready to suit up for their season opener on Oct. 27.
Here are the projected starters, followed by other relevant game information.
|2015/16 NBA Season|
|October 6, 2015|
|United Center | Chicago, IL|
|No Local TV | CSN Chicago | NBA League Pass | 620 WTMJ|
|Michael Carter-Williams||PG||E'Twaun Moore|
|Khris Middleton||SG||Tony Snell|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||SF||Jimmy Butler|
|Chris Copeland||PF||Nikola Mirotic|
|Greg Monroe||C||Joakim Noah|
|2014/15 Advanced Stats|
|102.7 (26th)||ORtg||107.5 (11th)|
|102.2 (4th)||DRtg||104.3 (11th)|