BROOKLYN, NY (WSAU) Larry Sanders figures that he has a 70-percent chance of playing tonight, when the Milwaukee Bucks return from the All-Star break to face the Nets in Brooklyn. Sanders has missed the last four games with a deep bruise in his lower back suffered at Denver earlier this month. The third-year center is still the N-B-A’s shot-blocking leader with three-point-two rejections per game. And he’s the Bucks’ leading rebounder with eight-and-a-half per contest. His absence is a big reason that Milwaukee lost five-of-seven games going into last weekend’s All-Star break.
At practice yesterday, Sanders ran freely up and down the court – and he says he’s ready to put the Milwaukee defense back on his shoulders. Coach Jim Boylan says veteran Samuel Dalembert has done a great job filling in for Sanders. But the 31-year-old Dalembert has had to play his way into shape, after sitting out a good portion of the season under former coach Scott Skiles.
Still, Dalembert had three double-doubles in four games. The Bucks are going for a playoff spot with 31 games left.
They have a four-game lead over Philadelphia for the eighth-and-final spot in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is 26-and-25. They’ll play a Nets team that’s 31-and-22.