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Eastern Notes: Mayo, Millsap, Jackson

The Bucks have suffered a rash of injuries this season and the team is currently down to just 10 healthy bodies, though center John Henson is getting closer to making his return from back woes. Despite his team being depleted, coach Jason Kidd indicated that Milwaukee has no immediate plans to add a player via hardship allowance, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal-Sentinel relays. “We’re going to play with the group we have,” Kidd said. “We have plenty of guys still; we’re not down to eight.” The Bucks are without O.J. Mayo, Michael Carter-Williams and Steve Novak, who are lost for the season, and Greivis Vasquez is out until at least March 25th with an ankle injury.

Kidd also noted that Mayo went to the doctor on Wednesday, the day prior to the announcement that he broke his right ankle walking down a flight of stairs at his home, because he we sick, Gardner relays. While the timing may raise eyebrows, Kidd indicated that the organization was taking the veteran shooting guard at his word, Gardner adds. “Anytime someone is sick, unless you’re going to play, we keep you home,” Kidd said. “Then the next day we get the call that he tripped and hurt himself, that he was going to the hospital. There are going to be stories. Everyone is going to have their opinion. But we can only go on what O.J. told us, and that’s what he told us.

Here’s more from the East….

  • Knicks team president Phil Jackson downplayed the notion that he would leave the team prior to the expiration of his five-year deal, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. “I’m still in it,” Jackson said. “I’m in it to win it.” Jackson didn’t deny his fondness for the West Coast, but noted his job in New York isn’t complete yet, Medina adds. “The energy that I have is directed toward turning this team around,” Jackson continued. “That’s taken my full effort.
  • Returning to Utah this week brought back memories for Paul Millsap, who spent his first seven seasons in the league with the Jazz, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News relays. Millsap said he had fond regards for his time in Utah, while Atlanta coach/executive Mike Budenholzer said he’s thrilled the talented big man is a member of the Hawks organization, telling Genessy, “He means so much. He fits us well. He’s a great teammate. He plays both ends of the court at a high level. He’s very unique in how talented he is with some of the things he does. I’m just very thankful that he’s with us.

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