Nerlens Noel, who was acquired from the Knicks in an offseason trade, is reconditioning after plantar fasciitis and hasn’t played during the preseason. Rookie center Jalen Duren hurt his shoulder last week, but was able to return Tuesday. Newly acquired Bojan Bogdanovic sat out Tuesday’s game with a strained calf, and Alec Burks, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo are all dealing with injuries as well.
“It’s part of the NBA,” coach Dwane Casey said. “That’s one reason (general manager Troy Weaver) has done a good job of bringing multiple guys in. Unfortunately, the multiple guys are (sitting out, injured) behind the bench. I think it’s a freak thing. I do know that some of the guys that were behind the bench — Kevin, (Diallo) — if it was a regular season game, they’d be able to go. That’s refreshing to know that.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- The Pacers seem headed for a rebuilding year, but that’s not how the players are approaching the new season, according to Michael Marot of The Associated Press. Trade deadline deals for Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith have added some youthful enthusiasm to the team. “I think we’ve just got a lot of guys who love basketball, who love to compete and that’s a great place to start,” Haliburton said. “There are so many young guys and they have a lot to prove not only to the media or the naysayers but to themselves.”
- Ayo Dosunmu will take over as the Bulls‘ starting point guard while Lonzo Ball is sidelined, per Annie Costabile of The Chicago Sun-Times. Coach Billy Donovan confirmed that Dosunmu won the role with his performance since camp opened. “Ayo right now is going to be the guy back there for us,” Donovan said. “He’s done a really good job this training camp and preseason.”
- The Bucks are counting on better health from Brook Lopez to improve their defense, notes Jamal Collier of ESPN. The veteran center was limited to 13 games last season because of back issues, but he came to camp noticeably leaner and motivated to prove he deserves a contract extension. “He’s in the best physical condition I’ve seen,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He seems hungry. … I feel like he’s moving well at both ends of the court. His aggressiveness is in a good place.”