Bucks forward Jabari Parker will make his season debut Friday night against the New York Knicks, the team announced Monday. Parker has not played since tearing the ACL in his left knee for the second time on Feb. 8, 2017.
“I’m really excited,” Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said after scoring 31 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in Monday’s 107-95 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. “I know the fans are really excited about that, too. He’s been through this twice in his career, just seeing him every day for the past year now working hard and being focused towards his return, I think it’s big for him and we all got to embrace the moment. I know he’s really excited. I think when he comes back he’s going to take this team to the next level. He’s going to help us defensively and offensively.”
The Bucks are hopeful that Parker will be able to provide some offensive punch alongside Antetokounmpo and continue their winning ways under interim head coach Joe Prunty. Monday’s win marked four straight victories since Prunty took over for fired head coach Jason Kidd last week.
Prunty would not reveal exactly what the plan would be as far as a minutes restriction, but he acknowledged there would be one as Parker makes his way back.
Parker averaged 20.1 points per game last season before his injury, second on the team behind only Antetokounmpo.
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
Chris Paul Says He’ll Pay Green’s Fine for Shove, Ejection
Chris Paul says he will pay any fine that results from teammate Gerald Green shoving Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 129-120 win Sunday night.
Green was ejected for coming to Paul’s defense after a frustrated Dieng pushed him down after a foul.
Celtics’ Smart (Thumb) Confident He’ll be Back for Playoffs
Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he’s confident he’ll be back on the court for the postseason after undergoing thumb surgery last week.
Smart suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting hand while diving to the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers earlier this month. A hand specialist in New York advised immediate surgery with hopes that Smart might be able to return even quicker than the six- to eight-week timeline the team announced after surgery.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN