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- The 31st Annual MACC Fund Game is tonight at 7:30 vs. Minnesota. Check out my previous post for more info on this great event. According to the current game notes, the probable starters are Mo, Bell, Desmond , Yi and Gadzuric, but my guess is that they're just using the starting lineup from the last game as a default. I'd hope the Bucks wouldn't be sending Andrew Bogut to community events at local schools if he was still sick (see next bullet). Better news: Krystkowiak expects Bobby Simmons to be available.
"He's looked good the last couple days (in practice)," Krystkowiak said. "It's a conservative mind-set at this point. The last thing we want to do is rant and rave this time of year about how well he's playing, and then have him break down.
- Jim Paschke has some video from the visit by Bogut, Yi and Sessions to some local schools. More pictures here.
- Charles Gardner writes that in contrast to the more experimental lineups he's often used in the first four preseason games, Larry Krystkowiak will be looking to define his rotation beginning tonight. Looking at the probable starting lineup on Bucks.com that might be a little hard.
"We're going to turn the corner tomorrow night and come out with a little bit more of a mind-set of a regular-season game," coach Larry Krystkowiak said after practice Friday. "I'd like to start establishing a rotation and not have that come upon us before our first game against Orlando."
- Gery Woelfel writes that the starting PF spot is actually a three-horse race. LK said early in camp the starting spot was an open battle between Yi and Charlie Villanueva, but now he seems more open to basing who starts on matchups. Two weeks ago LK said Yi and CV were his only true PFs, but since then he has spoken very positively of Gadzuric's energy and effort, while also reserving praise for Yi's quick adaptation. Villanueva on the other hand has yet to start a preseason game, so read between the lines and you could conclude that he has lost ground since entering camp as the de facto incumbent.
I'm still wary of starting Yi simply because of concerns about foul trouble and placing too much pressure on him off the bat, but Villanueva will similarly be a defensive target should he start. While Gadzuric isn't a defensive stopper, you never have to worry about him lacking energy and he was the Bucks' best rebounder last year (17.2 rebound rate), another category where the Bucks have struggled. Looking ahead to the season opener against Orlando, you can certainly see why LK might prefer to start Gadz rather than use Bogut to defend Dwight Howard full time to start the game. Either way, it seems clear that for whatever reason neither of the two natural PFs has done quite enough to make LK feel comfortable having a full-time starter.
“Danny is involved in that,’’ Krystkowiak said of the starting forward spot. “Some nights, he could be the one who starts. It’ll depend on match-ups.
“But there will be some games where they (the opponent) will start two big guys and we might match them with Danny and Andrew.’’
- Del Harris visited Bucks' practice yesterday. Aside from once previously coaching the Bucks and his son being GM, Del also coached Larry Krystkowiak for four years and gave Yi Jianlian a starting spot on the Chinese national team when Harris coached them at the '04 Olympics.