Found April 26, 2012 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
It wasn't quite a run-of-the-mill rookie season for Milwaukee Bucks' rookies Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer.
With the summer's NBA Lockout shortening the regular season in 2012 from 82 games to 66 games, not to mention cutting valuable practice time in the offseason, the league's rookies may have been the ones who suffered most, forcing their transition to the NBA to be drawn out longer than usual.
It certainly wasn't an optimal situation for a pair that could be potentially important members of a team fighting to make the playoffs next season.
"It hasn't been a typical one," Skiles said. "You wouldn't wish this type of rookie year on anyone."
Still, Leuer and Harris made the best of it in their average of 22.5 minutes per game combined in 2012.
And with the Bucks officially out of the playoffs for their final two games of the season both losses to Philadelphia and Boston Leuer and Harris were able to get some valuable playing time and show their value to the Bucks fans and brass. After the two-day audition of sorts, Skiles was hesitant to make too many judgments for the future in regards to his young guys.
"They didn't get to play that much this year, so I don't want to be too critical of them," Skiles said after the Bucks' loss to the Celtics on Thursday. "The answer is: I don't think anybody knows right now (what to expect). Depending on the makeup of the team team's always change they'll show up and battle for spots."
Harris average 4.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game in 2012, while Leuer put up similar numbers: 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds on average.
But in the season's final two tilts, when Harris and Leuer both played extended minutes, the results showed that the 2012 rookies could definitely contribute if called upon. Harris was one of the better Bucks on the floor in their final two contests, scoring a combined 31 points in two games to go along with 22 total rebounds. And Leuer also proved to be an effective weapon from the perimeter and in the post, shooting almost 56 percent from the floor and tallying an average of 11.5 points and seven rebounds.
Whatever the future holds for both Leuer and Harris is unsure as of now. But for those two and other young Bucks players like forward Larry Sanders it should be an interesting offseason, as Milwaukee will make the changes necessary to try and get over the hump and into the playoffs next season.
"There's nothing promised in this league," Skiles said. "You have to go out and earn it and they'll be given an opportunity to start earning it pretty quick."Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
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Wednesday, April 26
8:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #66, Home Game #33
TV: CSN-NE, FSN-WI, LP 752(MIL)/753(BOS)
Radio: WEEI, WTMJ
Referees: Scott Foster, Matt Boland, James Williams
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Record: 38-27 (1st Atlantic, 4th East)
Record: 31-33 (3rd Central, 9th East)
At home: 23-9
On road: 14-18
Streak: Won 1
Streak: Won 2
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