BULLS AT BUCKS, 9 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Bucks coach Scott Skiles hinted before the game that he was thinking about a lineup change. “We may do something with the lineup shortly before tipoff. I’m not sure yet,” Skiles said. When pressed for what possible change he might make, Skiles wouldn’t specify. If he does go through with the change it’s a safe bet it might involve forward Ersan Ilyasova. The 25-year-old Turk averaged career-best 13.0 points and 8.8 rebounds last season but is at just 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds and shooting just 31.3 percent through 10 games this year. Ilyasova signed a 5-year, $40-million contract in the off-season. Third-year veterans Ekpe Udoh or Larry Sanders could start in Ilyasova’s place, although Sanders has mostly replaced center Samuel Dalembert when he’s come off the bench. “It’s up to Ers to get himself going,” Skiles said. “He’s a better player than the way he’s played. He needs to get some good looks, knock them down, do the other things. He was offensive rebounding the ball so well last year and getting himself a put-back or two a game that had a big effect on his field goal percentage, and that’s not happening as much now. So there’s other ways he can he can get himself involved in the game.”
  • As the Bulls have struggled to a 5-6 start, coach Tom Thibodeau said the team has done well to guard against an attitude of waiting for the return of injured star guard Derrick Rose. “The thing is, that’s down the road,” Thibodeau said. “It has nothing to do with now. Right now we’ve got to just concentrate on improvement and being ready for the next game, whether it’s winning or losing. How you deal with it, that’s a big part of the NBA. Each day you come in and have a great attitude, a great approach and get ready for the next one.”
  • Bucks veteran forward Drew Gooden will be inactive although healthy once again. Gooden has not dressed for a game thus far as Sanders, Udoh, Ilyasova and rookie John Henson have logged nearly all of the power-forward minutes. Gooden has not made any noise over the situation. “He’s actually been good,” Skiles said. “I know it’s been tough on him. He’s practiced hard, he’s working hard, he’s staying ready. I like the way he’s handled it. I think he’s handled it very professionally.”

Rick Braun

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