The Milwaukee Bucks were forced to play their last two games down a few key players, but were still able to come out victorious in both contests. Now, the Bucks are expected to have three critical players return to the lineup Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks.
Milwaukee forward Ersan Ilyasova missed the last two games with a left knee bruise, and the team will certainly be glad to have his offensive production back after two games that could have gone either way. The 25-year-old has scored at least 19 points in four of his last six games, and continues to be productive from beyond the arc.
Center Larry Sanders, who was arguably the team’s biggest loss against the Sacramento Kings, will hopefully bounce back from a hyperextended left knee that has caused him all sorts of pain the last few days.
Sanders came down on his knee in an awkward position when he attempted to block forward Harris Barnes’ shot in Milwaukee’s win over the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. Without Sanders in the middle on Sunday, the Kings were able to drive the lane all night, something that Milwaukee is not used to with their NBA-leading blocker usually shutting it down around the basket.
J.J. Redick proved to be another big loss for the Bucks, but it is good to know he will be able to return so soon after a scary injury against the Warriors that looked a lot worse than it ended up being. Redick sprained his right ankle late in the game after converting a huge 3-pointer that gave Milwaukee a nine-point lead with under three minutes to play.
It is good to know the Bucks will be at full strength considering they will play three games in four days against the Mavericks, Washington Wizards and Miami Heat. The Heat are on an absolute tear and appear destined to put their current 18-game win streak to the test. It is also good that Milwaukee has these three players back as they are currently only one game back in the loss column for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.