Bucks Tuesday: Udrih out with thigh bruise

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. —  The Bucks’ depth at the guard position wasn’t strong to begin with, and it will be tested Wednesday night. Backup point guard Beno Udrih will miss the Memphis game with a thigh contusion suffered Monday during practice.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles said Udrih collided with forward Ersan Ilyasova, causing a pretty deep bruise on Udrih’s thigh.

“Doron (Lamb) will play more,” Skiles said after practice Tuesday. “Marquis (Daniels) may play more. Memphis is a very good club, and we are going to have to play well anyways. Brandon (Jennings) and Monta (Ellis) may play more minutes even.”

Udrih is averaging 10.5 points and 3.5 assists per game and was a big part of Milwaukee’s bench that has provided a spark in each of the first two games.

With no other true point guard behind Jennings on the bench, one of Ellis and Jennings will likely be on the floor at all times Wednesday night.

Lamb appears to have jumped Daniels in the rotation pretty quickly. After missing most of training camp with an elbow injury, the rookie out of Kentucky shone in the final two preseason games, getting praise from Skiles along the way.

He played just a combined eight minutes in the first two games but was on the floor Saturday when Milwaukee went on a 16-0 run to start the second quarter. This may be just the opportunity Lamb needs to cement his place in the rotation. 

Daniels played 10 minutes in the season opener but didn’t get on the floor against Cleveland. Friday night, the veteran guard missed all five of the shots he took. More of the polished defender than Lamb, Daniels won’t be the scoring spark Udrih was off the bench.

With Udrih likely inactive Wednesday, that puts off the decision Skiles would have faced with forward John Henson returning to action. Henson had no setbacks Tuesday, but Skiles said “he has a long ways to go.”

Big challenge: Memphis presents a tall order for the Bucks, literally. 

The Grizzlies are led by the interior duo of 7-foot-1, 265-pound center Marc Gasol and 6-foot-9, 260-pound power forward Zach Randolph. One of the best passing big men in the game, Gasol is averaging 21.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists, and Randolph is averaging 15.3 points and 16.0 rebounds.
The Bucks were hoping to see the pair when the teams met in a preseason game in La Crosse, Wis., on Oct. 19, but both were held out. Memphis still won, 97-94, as offseason acquisition center Marreese Speights filled in and scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
“They are both very good,” Skiles said of Gasol and Randolph. “Both have size, both have great hands. Gasol is an outstanding passer. Zach has expanded his game from being strictly in the low post to going out on the perimeter and facing up and making shots. 
“When shots go up, they just drive you under the glass with their size. There’s a lot of ways they can hurt you in the game. We are going to have to be very good on those guys.”
The fourth seed in the Western Conference a year ago, Memphis is off to a 2-1 start to the young season. The Grizzlies lost to the Clippers in their season opener but have rebounded to beat Golden State and Utah. 
Memphis has shot just 41.7 percent through its first three games and has committed 15.7 turnovers per game. A balanced attack has helped to make up for those struggles as five players have scored in double figures in the Grizzlies’ two wins, while Gasol, Randolph, forward Rudy Gay and point guard Mike Conley are each averaging more than 14 points per game.

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