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.

Bucks fall 104-88 at Utah, their ninth loss in the last 10 games

The Milwaukee Bucks season continued its downward spiral Wednesday night with a 104-88 loss to Utah.

The game was essentially decided in the second quarter, when the Jazz outscored Milwaukee 31-16 to take an 18-point lead at the half, sending the Bucks on their way to a ninth loss in the last 10 games.

Despite facing a battered Utah team, Milwaukee had no answer for stars Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert, with the duo combining for 53 points, with Gobert also adding 15 rebounds.

That effort was in stark contrast to that of the Bucks big-time players — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. In what was one of his worst performances of the season, Antetokounmpo had just nine points on 2 of 10 shooting in 39 minutes of action. Parker, meanwhile added 17 points and seven rebounds.

The loss left Milwaukee a season-high six games under .500 at 21-27. A short three-game road trip continues Friday night at Denver.

Bucks fall to Raptors for seventh straight time

TORONTO — For the seventh straight time, the Milwaukee Bucks fell to the Toronto Raptors, this time a 102-86 defeat Friday night at the Air Canada Centre.

All-Star Kyle Lowry scored 32 points to lead the Raptors to their 13th victory over the Bucks in the last 14 tries, snapping a five-game losing streak in the process. Norman Powell added 19 on 7-of-15 shooting, erasing Milwaukee’s only lead in the game in the early stages of the first quarter.

”That’s where the game was lost, right in the first few minutes of the game,” Bucks forward Jabari Parker said. ”We always trailed from there and it’s bad playing with a deficit.”

Parker led the Bucks with 21 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 19 points and eight assists. In addition to getting out-rebounded 47-43, Milwaukee committed 19 turnovers and shot just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from three-point range.

It’s Milwaukee’s seventh loss in eight games, dropping them to 21-25 on the season and falling two games back of the Chicago Bulls for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee falters late, loses to Philadelphia 114-109

A brutal second quarter was too much for the Milwaukee Bucks to overcome Wednesday night, losing for the sixth time in their seven games, this time a 114-109 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Milwaukee led by six after the first quarter, but were outscored 39-19 in the second, and trailed 72-58 at the break.

“One thing, we’re young. This is growing pains,” coach Jason Kidd said. “This is the understanding of patience and understanding in the first half you can’t give up 72 points to have any chance to win.”

But that’s exactly what Milwaukee did have a chance to do, even taking a lead midway through the fourth quarter. Over the final 5:56 of the game, there were 14 ties or lead changes, with Philadelphia finally gaining the upper hand for good with a pair of Nerlens Noel free throws, and then a jumper from Noel after a turnover by Greg Monroe.

The loss came two days after the Bucks beat Houston — a team with the third-best record in the Western Conference — and it saw them fall to 21-24 on the year.

“It’s very frustrating,” Monroe said of the up and down nature of the team. “We just have to be more consistent. Play with the same focus as Monday when we were locked in and focused on both ends. (Wednesday night) we didn’t bring that. We have to get to playing, on a nightly basis, like we played Monday against the Rockets.”

Monroe scored a season-high 28 points, while Jabari Parker added 20 and Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Milwaukee will now head to Toronto on Friday night, the first of what will be four road games in their next five contests.

Milwaukee snaps its five-game losing streak with a 127-114 win over Houston

The streak is over.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker combined for 59 points to help Milwaukee outgun Houston 127-114 to snap a five-game losing streak on Monday night.

The Bucks led nearly the entire way but had to fight in the fourth quarter to pay back the Rockets for a blowout loss last week on the road. Houston took a 95-93 lead with 10:15 left in the game, but after a Milwaukee timeout, rookie Malcom Brogdon’s two free throws tied the game up and later he assisted on Jason Terry’s 16-foot jumper to take a 101-99 lead — a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Milwaukee went 10 of 17 from the field in the fourth quarter, and for the game shot a season-high 58.8 percent. That included a very efficient 11 of 19 performance from Parker, who after coming off the bench against the Heat due to violating team policy, scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists.

Antetokounmpo was also good on the offensive end, scoring 31 points, his 10th game of 30 or more this season. He capped the game off with a deep 3-pointer, then did a shoulder shimmy reminiscent of the same one James Harden did toward the end of Houston’s victory over Milwaukee on Friday night.

Chants of M-V-P broke out inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center aimed at Antetokounmpo, and though that might be the case in the future, the real MVP candidate this season is Harden, and he did nothing to damage that, nearly producing a triple-double. Named an All-Star starter last week, Harden dropped 26 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

The game also served as a homecoming for former Wisconsin star Sam Dekker. The 2015 first-round pick, who was coming of a career-high 30 points his last time out, managed just four points on 2 of 7 shooting in his first trip back.

Milwaukee improved to 21-23 on the season and will host Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Parker benched due to “violation of team rules”

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks dropped their fifth game in a row Saturday night 109-97 to the Miami Heat, but coach Jason Kidd told reporters that Jabari Parker would be playing off the bench due to violating a team rule.

That  rule reportedly involved revealing to media members that the Bucks held a “players only” meeting after their 112-96 loss to the Orlando Magic the night before.  The meeting lasted for about 35 minutes while Milwaukee continues its longest losing streak of the season.

The Bucks are 2-7 since Giannis Antetokounmpo landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but will try to get on track Monday night hosting the Houston Rockets.