A sprained right wrist and soreness in his knees will keep Drew Gooden out of the lineup Friday when the Milwaukee Bucks face the Magic in Orlando.
Head coach Scott Skiles said at Friday morning’s shootaround that Gooden, who has been starting at center in place of Andrew Bogut, did not make the trip to Orlando but might be able to join the team Sunday when it travels to New Jersey to face the Nets.
In the 13 games since Bogut went down with a broken ankle in Milwaukee’s 105-99 victory at Houston Jan. 25, Gooden has averaged 17.4 points and 7.0 rebounds. He has scored 20 or more points six times and only once finished in single digits.
Article continues below ...
In all, Gooden has appeared in 27 of the Bucks’ 29 games this season, making 17 starts. He’s averaging 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting 43.3 percent from the field.
Skiles said that Jon Leuer and Ersan Illyasova will start Friday at power forward and center, with power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute coming off the bench.
“We’re going to try to inject a little more energy in the starting lineup with Ers,” said Skiles, who is gambling that the 6-9 Illyasova can match up against Orlando center Dwight Howard. “Ers, historically, for us has played better off the bench than he has in the lineup, so I’m a little hesitant to do it. I don’t want to bust his rhythm up with the way he’s been playing, but we need to change something up.”