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News » BUCKS NOTES Put in power position Thomas expected to bang on boards

BUCKS NOTES Put in power position Thomas expected to bang on boards

BUCKS NOTES  Put in power position  Thomas expected to bang on boards By CHARLES F. GARDNER

St. Francis - Veteran Kurt Thomas is getting the call at power forward, one of two changes in the Milwaukee Bucks' starting lineup made Thursday by coach Scott Skiles.

Thomas will replace Ersan Ilyasova in the lineup for the Bucks' home preseason game against the Chicago Bulls in Green Bay on Saturday night, and Carlos Delfino will be inserted for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at small forward.

Ilyasova struggled against more physical forwards in the Bucks' first two games, including Kevin Love with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Ben Wallace and Jason Maxiell with the Detroit Pistons.

"He's in the right place all the time defensively, and he's a conscientious box-out guy," Skiles said of the 6-foot-9 Thomas.

"We've been getting killed on the boards. We'd like to present a little tougher front to start a game."

Ilyasova scored 14 points in 22 minutes but failed to grab a rebound in the Bucks' 113-104 exhibition loss to the Pistons on Wednesday night.

"I'm getting my shape back," Ilyasova said. "I've been playing a lot of games with the (Turkish) national team, and for me it's like the middle of the season."

Ilyasova quickly noted the difference in the NBA-style game after playing the past two seasons with Regal FC Barcelona in the Spanish League.

"This is much more physical than in Europe," Ilyasova said. "I need a little bit of time to adjust. When you play the 4, you have to be more physical.

"I try to box out people and to offensive rebound. Next time my game will be better."

Thomas had three points and four rebounds in 19 minutes against the Pistons.

Another strong candidate to start at power forward is former Memphis player Hakim Warrick, although Skiles might like to have his firepower off the bench.

Warrick has averaged 18 points over the first two games and showed a nice medium-range jumper along with his great athleticism.

"I'm not ruling him out as a starter, either," Skiles said. "We may change the lineup a couple times because we have three games in four nights.

"We may give Hak a look up front as well."

Bogut to play more: Skiles was encouraged with the 12-minute outing by center Andrew Bogut, who played the entire first quarter against the Pistons before sitting out the rest of the night.

Bogut, progressing steadily in his recovery from a stress fracture in his back, likely will play a pair of 8-minute stretches against the Bulls.

"He's played well in the minutes he's had on the floor," Skiles said. "We're obviously a totally different team when he's out there."

Teens no fun: The Bucks gave up 117 points to Minnesota and allowed 113 to the Pistons, and Detroit shot nearly 56%.

"We've got to get that (scoring) down in the 90s, and then we'll have a chance," Skiles said.

"It's a very good practice team, a good group to work with. Both games we've had a little trouble translating it out onto the game court."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: October 10, 2009


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