Morning Shootaround: The Walking Bucks

Butler injury adds to Bucks woes
Bucks vs. Pacers, 7 p.m.

Milwaukee looked like they survived Orlando without facing another injury. The result of the game was still in doubt and the Bucks still had a chance to win. With eight guys available to play, leaving with eight seemed almost as important.

Jacob Langston/Milwaukee Journal SentinelThen Caron Butler got crunched between Khris Middleton and a Magic defender with less than a minute to go. He crumpled to the floor and got up a few moments later holding his left arm with his shoulder slumped.

Butler underwent an MRI on Thursday and he is likely going to miss Friday's game against the Pacers. That could leave the Bucks with seven available players going up against the unbeaten Pacers.

Here is the hit parade for Milwaukee: Ersan Ilyasova missed out on this road trip with a sprained ankle. Larry Sanders needed surgery on his thumb and is out indefinitely. Carlos Delfino was recently ruled out for the remainder of the season. Luke Ridnour has been out for a while and traveled to Orlando to meet the team, but Larry Drew has already ruled him out for Friday's game. Zaza Pachulia, Brandon Knight and Gary Neal were late scratches in Wednesday's loss. Maybe one of those guys could come back and provide support.

If not, it will be a skeleton crew — a skeleton crew taking advantage of the opportunity like rookie Nate Wolters and Giannis Antetokounmpo is — at Banker's Life Fieldhouse.

Spurs flourish because of depth
Spurs vs. Jazz, 9 p.m.

Tim Duncan had one of his worst career shooting performances Wednesday night against Washington. Still San Antonio won easily. The Spurs' depth really continues to be the calling card of the organization. They have filled and replaced the key players from last year's Finals run. It was a 16-0 run from the second unit which keyed the Spurs to the easy victory in the third quarter.

Nets fans panicked?
Nets vs. Suns, 9 p.m.

The Nets are not out to the start everyone thought they would be. At 2-5 and out West and winless on the road, Brooklyn is struggling to put all the pieces to the puzzle together. The Nets still have time to straighten things out. But New York fans and media are fickle and impatient. There are some fans already calling for Jason Kidd's seat on the bench. And now, an informal Twitter poll from SNYNets shows three in 10 Nets fans are "panicked." That is not a whole ton, but patience is beginning to run out on this star-studded team.

Trail Blazers broadcaster missing first game in 15 years
Trail Blazers vs. Celtics, 7:30 p.m.

Blazers radio broadcaster Brian Wheeler will miss his first call in 15 years with the team. Wheeler has been calling games since 1998 and has not missed a game since then, a span of 1,359 games. Wheeler is missing the four-game East Coast swing which begins in Boston on Friday because of an illness. Fans love their local broadcasters (usually), so speedy recover for this longtime radio guy. 

Knicks can't hack it
Rockets 109, Knicks 106

Dwight Howard certainly is getting frustrated with all the teams forcing him to make free throws. It nearly worked for the Knicks as they tried to make a late comeback and withstand Jeremy Lin's big performance back in Madison Square Garden. It was not quite enough. Carmelo Anthony was fouled before he could hit the game-tying 3-pointer and the Rockets held on despite Anthony's 45 points. Andrea Bargnani though played some solid defense on Howard and James Harden looked banged up too despite scoring 36 points. Still not enough for the struggling Knicks.

Iggy so nasty
Warriors 116, Thunder 115

The Thunder were fighting their way back into the game the entire fourth quarter. Down by two points, Russell Westbrook got them back with two seconds left with a tough 3-pointer over a recovering defense. The Warriors were not done though. Andre Iguodala read the defense and broke off the inbound play to fade to the corner. He received the ball, turned around for a fadeaway jumper and won the game for Golden State. Westbrook ended with 31 points and nine rebounds while Iguodala finished with 14 points and nine assists. Klay Thompson scored 27 to lead Golden State.

Kelly, Harris sent down to D-League
Grizzlies vs. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

This is the perks of owning your own D-League team. Lakers rookies Ryan Kelly and Elias Harris will make their first trip to the D-League as the Lakers hope to get them some playing time and experience. The two will likely bounce and back and forth between the farm team and the Show depending on the Lakers' practice and travel schedule. This is how the D-League is typically used.

Kings remember it is just one win
Pistons vs. Kings, 10:30 p.m.

The Kings scored a major victory for the young squad in blowing out the Nets on Wednesday. Sacramento frankly has not had a ton of wins in the last few years. DeMarcus Cousins gained a lot of praise from Kevin Garnett and the Nets' elder statesmen. Sacramento still has to get up for a tough Detroit team and build off that win. So far they are saying the right things and trying to remind themselves Wednesday was just one win.

Rose may sit against Raptors
Bulls vs. Raptors, 7 p.m.

Derrick Rose left Tuesday's game with a hamstring injury. Understandably, Chicago fans have been freaking out all week waiting for Friday's trip to Canada to play Toronto. Rose has been practicing and appears no worse for the wear. The Bulls though will continue to play it cautiously and Rose may sit out of Friday's game

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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