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- Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he still didn’t know if swingman Iman Schumpert (right shoulder) would be available. “He’s going to go back out and try to test it and give me the word before the game,” Woodson said about an hour before tip-off. Woodson did know that forward Kenyon Martin would not play with a sore ankle. “We’ll rest him tonight and see how he feels come Thursday,” Woodson said.
- Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo will be playing in front of his parents, Charles and Veronica, for the first time as an NBA player as his parents arrived in Milwaukee from Greece. Antetokounmpo left Greece last summer at the age of 18 1/2 to start preparing for his rookie season and training camp. His parents are moving to Milwaukee full-time, and the 19-year-old had a big smile on his face when asked about it. “I’m very excited for that and I’m very happy that they finally got here and they’re going to be at the game today,” Antetokounmpo said. “They’re going to be like scouts for me. The last time I played in front of my parents was 10 months ago in Greece.” Based on reaction, Antetokounmpo is most excited about how his diet will change. “Ooooooh, yeah,” he said at the mention of home-cooked meals. His favorite dish? “She makes a dish with rice and chicken,” he said. “I haven’t had it yet but maybe I’ll have it tonight after the game.”
- The Knicks have been succeeding with their “small” lineup of Tyson Chandler at center, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith at forward and Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni at guard and they will stick with those five starting tonight. Woodson said Anthony has been the main reason the Knicks’ succeed with their small lineup, citing Anthony’s versatility. “I think that was the big key,” Woodson said. “He’s probably a natural 3 when you look at his size and hoe he plays. We were able to get away with it at the 4 spot. That’s been a nightmare for most 4s in the league because they have to chase him.”
- Bucks guard O.J. Mayo will miss his fifth straight game with what the team is calling a bad case of the flu. Mayo will be on the bench in street clothes. “He’s been out a while and we’re going to have to get him in shape all over again,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “It’s good that he’ll be there on the bench with us, but unfortunately he won’t be playing tonight.” Forwards John Henson (sprained wrist) and Ekpe Udoh (ankle) will remain out. Udoh will miss his sixth straight game and Henson will miss his third straight game. Drew will start Larry Sanders at center, Khris Middleton and Ersan Ilyasova at forward and Brandon Knight and rookie Nate Wolters at guard for the third straight game.
– Rick Braun