Preview: Bucks vs. Wizards
MILWAUKEE -- John Wall will be a game-time decision Monday night when the Washington Wizards continue their three-game road swing with a game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night at the Bradley Center.
Wall, averaging 19.9 points and 9.3 assists per game this season, sat out the Wizards' 100-91 loss at Toronto on Sunday because of sore left knee. The ailment bothered him for the past week and limited him to nine points on 3-of-12 shooting in a loss to Miami on Friday.
"He did wake up (Sunday) morning feeling better, not as sore," coach Scott Brooks told the Washington Post. "But it's still wait-and-see (Monday). There's a good chance, but I don't know. Overnight, you never know. But it's nothing serious. That's the most important. He's going to be fine. It's just we felt another ... 48 hours between the games would help."
Brooks added, "Just playing it safe. We got three games in four nights, so we're going to sit him out (Sunday) and see how he feels (Monday). It's a great chance there that he will play (Monday)."
Washington will be facing a Bucks team coming off its first loss of the Eric Bledsoe era, a 111-79 drubbing in Dallas on Saturday night that snapped a season-high, four-game winning streak.
"This was one of our worst games, but it happens," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. "We just have to learn from it."
The Bucks have relied heavily this season on Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 24 against Dallas and is second in NBA scoring at 30.1 points per game. He also is second in the league in minutes per game, playing an average of 37.7 minutes.
Even at 22, that's a heavy workload, but the Bucks' ineffective bench has made it almost a necessity.
Making matters worse, Kidd's choices are limited due to injuries. Mirza Teletovic is off to a nice start but has missed five consecutive games with a sore left knee, while Matthew Dellavedova has missed the past two because of left knee tendinitis.
"Definitely it hurts," said Bucks forward Khris Middleton, whose 37.1 minutes per game are third most in the league. "We need everybody, we need everybody to play well. Not just the starting five, not just a couple guys, we need everybody every night."
Malcolm Brogdon moved to the bench when the Bucks acquired Bledsoe, but that deal also shipped center Greg Monroe to Phoenix, leaving Thon Maker and John Henson as the only reserve options at center. Forty-year-old Jason Terry, rookie D.J. Wilson, defensive specialist DeAndre Liggins and Rashad Vaughn round out the rotation.
Of that group, Maker and Liggins see the bulk of game action, leaving Milwaukee to lean on its starters.
"It doesn't bother me, you've got to be professional," Middleton said. "We were still in the (Dallas) game, at least I thought, until late in that fourth quarter. We just couldn't get stops.
"I'm going to keep playing -- as long as I'm out there I'm not going to complain about my minutes. I want to play the whole game. I know realistically I can't, so just got to go out there and keep playing no matter what."
The Wizards won three of four meetings with the Bucks last season, splitting two games at the Bradley Center.