Last shots: Bucks 92, Knicks 90

MILWAUKEE – Eighteen last shots for the 18 assists dished out by the Milwaukee Bucks in their 92-90 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

1. Forward Jabari Parker returned to game action for the first time since he tore his left ACL on February 8, 2017. Parker was restricted to roughly 15 minutes on the floor by the team.

2. Parker was happy with his performance, and he should have been. He was aggressive from the start. Parker finished with 12 points on the night, which was second to only Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 29 on the team.

3. “It felt great,” Parker said. “Honestly, training myself to think about [his first game] is just getting better. It’s not going to take just one game [or] a few games. It’s a whole process.

4. “I was just trying to stay composed and not trying to get carried away. Honestly, [I was] pretty much distracted because I heard the crowd. I had to calm down and teach myself, ‘You’ve still got to play. You’ve still got to play. Show the people what I’ve been working so hard on.’”

5. Parker checked in with 5:25 left in the first quarter. It did take him two tries to get into the game, however. Parker was at the scorer’s table while New York’s Tim Hardaway Jr. was fouled on a 3-pointer. Parker then attempted to come on the floor following the first free throw attempt. He was then ushered back to the scorers’ table until after Hardaway Jr. shot his second of three.

6. Then, the crowd officially welcomed Parker back to basketball.

7. “I’m proud of him,” forward Khris Middleton said. “It’s tough to go through what he went through twice, then come back and play like nothing has ever happened. It’s great. I know there was a lot going through his mind, but he did a great job of going out there and playing basketball.”

8. Parker played in each of the first three quarters before coming close to his restriction. At the start of the fourth quarter he had already played 14:48.

9. Down the stretch Milwaukee relied on Antetokounmpo, as the usually do. He had 16 of his 29 points in the second half, with 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Antetokounmpo scored his final points with 1.9 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Bucks to victory.

10. The final play was made possible as the result of a few stops by the Bucks on the defensive end. They forced Knicks center Enes Kanter into a missed shot in the lane with 24.5 remaining. Antetokounmpo rebounded the miss before advancing the ball, draining the clock, and getting to the rim.

11. The Knicks forced a 30-foot 3-point attempt by Hardaway Jr. that fell short as time expired. In total, the Knicks shot 5-25 on 3-pointers. That includes a 0-of-9 mark from Hardaway Jr. He finished with six points.

12. New York was led by both Kanter and All-Star Kristaps Porzingis. They each had 17 points on the night. Porzingis did so on 6-of-15 from the floor. Kanter was a much more efficient 8-13, and added in a game-high 18 rebounds as well.

13. While the game was close and certainly exciting down the stretch, saying it was well played would be a stretch. The Bucks were forced to overcome a number of things in order to earn the victory. They definitely deserve the credit for doing so, but it wasn’t the best performance Milwaukee has had to date.

14. The Bucks will need to overcome the absence of guard Malcolm Brogdon for the next 6-to-8 weeks. Brogdon suffered a left quadriceps tendon injury in the team’s loss in Minnesota on Thursday night.

15. The subsequent MRI revealed that he has a partially torn tendon. As things stand now, the 6-to-8-week timetable would bring the guard back to the court in late March. That leaves two weeks for the team to try and reincorporate him before the playoffs begin.

16. Brogdon’s injury certainly hurts the depth at the guard position moving forward, and on Friday night Eric Bledsoe’s foul trouble was a cause for concern as well. Bledsoe missed Thursday’s game with an ankle injury but played on Friday. Bledsoe played 20:31 before fouling out. He finished with seven points, three assists, and a rebound. Certainly a night for him to forget.

17. This meant guard Matthew Dellavedova saw over 27 minutes on the floor for the Milwaukee. He finished with four points on 1-of-5 shooting. The team will obviously be able to count on Bledsoe more nights than not, but Dellavedova certainly didn’t play his best game filling in.

18. The Bucks return to action on Sunday morning at 11AM (CT) on the road against the Brooklyn Nets to start a four-game road trip. That trip will hit both Brooklyn and the Knicks before heading south and taking on the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.

Bucks lose Malcolm Brogdon for 6-to-8 weeks

Milwaukee is getting forward Jabari Parker back just as its losing guard Malcolm Brogdon.

The Bucks announced Friday that Brogdon suffered a partially torn quadriceps tendon in the loss at Minnesota Thursday night and would be out 6-to-8 weeks. The injury comes on the heels of guard Eric Bledsoe missing the matchup with the Timberwolves because of an ankle injury.

The 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year, Brogdon was averaging 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists for Milwaukee this season.

His absence likely means a further increase in minutes for rookie Sterling Brown and veteran Matthew Dellavedova in the team’s backcourt.

Milwaukee had been looking forward to getting its entire preferred rotation on the floor together for the first time in several years with Parker’s return from a torn ACL planned for Friday night against the New York Knicks. That plan will apparently have to wait another month and a half or so.

Bucks top Magic 110-103

The Milwaukee Bucks got back in the win column with a 110-103 victory over the visiting Orlando Magic on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.

Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was the game’s high-scorer with 26 points on a very efficient 10-of-15 shooting from the floor. All five starters for the Bucks reached double-figures in scoring, with all five reaching at least 14 points.

The one area of major struggle was the shooting from 3-point range for Milwaukee. They finished the game shooting 4-19 from deep. Despite the issues from deep, the Bucks used a strong defensive performance in most of the game. They allowed the Magic to score 29 points in the first quarter and 34 points in the final period. During the second and third quarters they locked down on that end of the floor, allowing 23 and 24 points, respectively.

The Bucks will return to action on Friday night against the Golden State Warriors in a nationally televised matchup at home.

Before the game the Bucks announced that forward Jabari Parker is on schedule to return prior to the All-Star break. Parker tore his left ACL in February of 2017. That injury was his second torn ACL of his career. The former No. 2 overall pick was averaging a career-best 20.1 points per game through 51 games last season before his injury.

Bucks assign Jabari Parker to Wisconsin Herd

Jabari Parker is seemingly getting closer to a return.

The Milwaukee Bucks announced Monday the forward had been assigned to the Wisconsin Herd, the franchise’s G-League affiliate. They are scheduled to practice in Milwaukee on Monday and Tuesday before taking on Grand Rapids in Oshkosh on Wednesday.

According to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Parker won’t be playing with the Herd, and that his assignment to the team has more to do with the lack of practice time the Bucks have in their upcoming schedule.

Parker is rehabbing from tearing the ACL in his left knee for a second time last winter. He underwent surgery to repair it on Feb. 14 and all indications are that the franchise plans to give the injury a full year to heal.

Before going down, Parker was starting to find the form that made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists while playing 33.9 minutes per game.

Jabari in the second half of his rehab timetable

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is over halfway through his knee rehab recovery timetable since tearing his ACL on February 8th.

Parker is adamant that his rehab is going well and his knee is feeling good. He expects to return to the Bucks and be cleared for game action sometime in February of this up-coming season.

Parker raised his performance in almost every aspect last season before tearing his ACL for the second time in three seasons with the Bucks. In 51 games last year, he averaged 20.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game, all career highs.

He also raised his three-point shooting percentage by nearly 11%. The Bucks were hoping he was just starting to turn the corner to complement their other superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Parker will be entering his fourth season this year and will be eligible to sign a contract extension from his rookie-contract scale by the October 16th deadline. If he doesn’t sign an extension by the deadline, he will become a restricted free-agent in 2018.

Report: Jabari Parker feeling ‘great’

Jabari Parker is feeling great as he works his way back from a season-ending knee injury suffered last February.

The former first-round pick told ESPN that his rehab from a torn ACL is progressing, but that he hasn’t put a date on a potential return to the court.

“As of right now, the way I treat my body, it doesn’t have a date,” Parker said in an interview with Nick Friedell. “I can give you a little piece of information: I’m not the average person with this injury.”

Parker tore the ACL in his left knee, the same injury he sustained back in 2014. He returned a little less than a year later but this rehab figures to be a bit longer.

“Obviously I had it once, but I’ve done stuff so far that’s exciting,” Parker told Friedell. “But most importantly, I want to be able to jump as high, jump higher than I was, be faster than I was. That’s the only way I’ll play again.”

The 22-year-old was having his best season before getting hurt, averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game – all of which were career bests.

Antetokounmpo’s career-high 41 not enough in 122-114 loss to Lakers

MILWAUKEE — One day after learning forward Jabari Parker would be gone for the season (torn ACL), the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t muster enough for a comeback, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 122-114.

The night started off on the wrong foot, with Milwaukee allowing a season-high 47 points in the opening quarter. From there, the Bucks tried to battle back the rest of the night, eventually using a 14-0 fourth-quarter run to close the gap to five. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 41 points, adding eight rebounds and six assists in the loss.

”At the end of the day, you just want to win, especially against a team like the Lakers,” Antetokounmpo said. ”They aren’t a playoff team.”

Nick Young led the way for Los Angeles with 26 points, converting on the rare four-point play twice in one night.

”I was thinking, OK, this is one of them nights,” Young said.

It marked the 12th loss in 14 outings for the Bucks, with rookie Thon Maker replacing Parker in the lineup. Maker contributed seven points and six rebounds in 17 minutes of playing time. Khris Middleton came off the bench to play nearly 21 minutes, scoring six points on 2-of-7 shooting.

Middleton won’t make the trip to Indiana Saturday night when they visit the Pacers at 6 p.m.

Timing of Parker injury likely ruins chances of max contract

MILWAUKEE — Adding insult to injury for Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is the reality of what his second torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) means for his next NBA contract.

At just 21 years of age, there’s plenty of basketball ahead for the Duke product, but the fact that Wednesday’s injury occurred to the same knee as two years ago raises questions about Parker’s durability and if he can get back to the same form he started to show this season.

NBA rookies typically sign two-year contracts upon entering the league, with team options for the third and fourth year. Parker is currently on year three of that contract structure, earning a base salary of roughly $5.4 million. Because Milwaukee had already exercised its option for the fourth year, Parker’s next step was to earn a max contract extension.

That now appears to be in doubt.

While the No. 2 overall draft pick of 2014 is scheduled to be owed about $6.8 million next season, he may instead be looking at free agency in the next few months.

A max contract for players with fewer than six years of NBA experience earn either $9 million or 25 percent of the team salary cap, whichever is greater. In Parker’s case, the estimated salary cap for the 2018-19 season is $103 million. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) gives teams 42.14 percent of the NBA’s basketball-related income (BRI), while the 2017 CBA gives teams 44.74 percent. In layman’s terms, the Bucks will have a 2018-19 salary cap of roughly $46.1 million, rather than $43.4 million.

That would have been good news for Parker, who could have made an estimated $11.52 million per year under the new CBA. Under the old terms, he would have maxed out at $10.8 million.

But it all remains to be seen what Milwaukee decides to do with one of the cornerstones of its “Own the Future” movement. Parker ranks second on the team in points per game (20.1), third in total rebounds per game (6.2), and fourth in assists per game (2.8).

Bucks confirm Jabari Parker suffers torn ACL.. again

Milwaukee, WI | Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker has a torn ACL, the team announced Thursday. Parker suffered the same injury to the same knee two years ago during his rookie NBA season.

Parker suffered the left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.

In 51 games this season, Parker averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and one steal in 33.9 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 47 times, including 20-plus points in 28 games.

 

 

 

The game itself was another embarrassment for the Bucks who fell 106-88. The Heat toyed with Milwaukee, outscoring them 28-15 in the first quarter and sailed the rest of the night. Hassan Whiteside had 23 points and 16 rebounds for a Miami team that has won 12 straight games.

Meanwhile, it was the 10th loss in the last 12 games for Milwaukee, and it resulted in a closed door meeting between Hammond and coach Jason Kidd, who did not address the media afterwards for the first time this season.

“No effort,” Terry said of the performance. “Could not get multiple stops. In this league you have to get stops, and we just did not put in the effort to get that done (Wednesday night).”

The loss dropped Milwaukee to seven games below .500 (22-29) and left them wondering what could go wrong next.

“When it rains it pours,” Henson said. “We got to fight our way out of this hole. It’s going to take a team effort. I think we’ll be fine.”

Milwaukee will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, followed by a trip to Indiana on Saturday.

Khris Middleton cleared to return from hamstring injury on Wednesday

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks have lost 10 of their last 11 games but will get a morale boost on Wednesday night with the return of Khris Middleton, who’s been recovering from a ruptured hamstring suffered in the preseason.

During the broadcast of Friday night’s 121-117 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Middleton told Fox Sports Wisconsin he’d been medically cleared to return to game action, having missed the first 50 games of the season. It was reported on Jan. 6 that Middleton could return prior to the All-Star break, initially thought to be an injury that would keep him out the entire season.

“It’s possible,” Middleton said last month in regard to a possible February return. “That’s if everything goes right, with no setbacks and a good, long stretch of practices. Still a long way to go but I’m working towards it.”

The fifth-year forward averaged 18.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds last year. His return could not only provide another consistent scorer alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, but it could help Milwaukee claw its way back into the playoff picture, currently 2.5 games and three spots back from the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

It’s unclear exactly how much Middleton would play in his season debut. He’ll make his return Feb. 8 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee when they host the Miami Heat at 7 p.m.