October 13, 2013
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Larry Drew on Antetokounmpo – He is an interesting situation

Larry Drew on Antetokounmpo – He is an interesting situation

Bucks coach Larry Drew wanted to get some work done Friday, but it appears that will have to wait. Three more players were injured in the Bucks' 98-89 loss to Minnesota in Sioux Falls, S.D., meaning Drew barely had a quorum for practice.

The latest players to go on the injury list were guard Nate Wolters, who injured his left wrist in a hard fall to the floor in the second half Thursday; Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was suffering from knee soreness; and guard Gary Neal, who hurt his foot in the first half against the Timberwolves.

Already out are Carlos Delfino (foot surgery), Ekpe Udoh (knee), Zaza Pachulia (recovery from Achilles surgery) and Ersan Ilyasova (sprained right ankle suffered Tuesday). None of those players are ready to return. "That's thrown a big wrench into things," Drew said of the injury woes. "At the very beginning we knew of Carlos' situation. "We're still waiting on Z to come back, losing Ekpe. I go from having all these big guys to where I'm limited now. Last night I had to play Stephen Graham at the 4 (power forward) and Olek Czyz at the 5 (center).

"Even today guys are banged up. There's no Giannis around. His knee was a little sore. Nate is nursing that wrist. Gary Neal re-aggravated the foot so he did not participate in practice today. "We have to adapt accordingly. All the things I wanted to do today I really couldn't do because we were short-handed."

Antetokounmpo played major minutes in both of the Bucks' games on the recent trip, in part due to the injuries. His sensational block of a shot by Shabazz Muhammad made the SportsCenter highlights but the 6-foot-9 rookie also had seven turnovers against Minnesota. He traveled a few times and threw two inbounds passes away.

But for an 18-year-old playing his first two NBA games, he showed plenty of promise. "I don't know if he was nervous or not," Drew said. "But he has shown to be very poised because he is making some big-time plays. "This is about growth for him. He will grow faster being between those lines making mistakes than sitting on the bench getting instructions from us. We have to balance that.

"Let's say if we had a full squad, he probably wouldn't play as much as he did. It's an opportunity for him to grow. And he's responded well." Drew said the coaches already have talked to the youngster about the traveling calls he is drawing.

"We'll show him on film and we'll get out here and work with him," Drew said, "getting him to where he keeps that foot down before he moves the other. Right now he's shuffling both. We'll work on it."

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1. Petrolina A.E.K. Larnakas 13/2 28
2. Keravnos Strovolou 12/3 27
3. CytaVision APOEL 10/5 25
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7. Kapatsos Omonoia Nicosia 2/13 17
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