Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin
By ANDREW GRUMAN  |  Last updated 10/29/13
ST FRANCIS, Wis. -- Ersan Ilyasova made it through practice for the second consecutive day Tuesday, but Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew will wait until Wednesday to determine if his starting power forward can play in the season opener in New York. Ilyasova returned to practicing five-on-five Monday for the first time since spraining his right ankle in Milwaukee's preseason opener Oct. 8. The next test was to see how the ankle bounced back Tuesday morning, and Ilyasova passed with flying colors. "We'll have to wait and see how he is tomorrow," Drew said. "We're not going to make a decision on him now. It was just encouraging to have him out there for an entire practice. He did it and was fine." Even if he can play, Ilyasova may not jump right back into the starting lineup. Ilyasova will eventually regain his job as Milwaukee's starting power forward, but he's missed three weeks of learning Drew's system. If Ilyasova doesn't start, the Bucks will likely trot out a starting lineup of Brandon Knight, O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton, Caron Butler and Larry Sanders. "Where my comfort level is right now, I honestly don't know," Drew said of Ilyasova. "I'll just see how he is tomorrow. He's been out for a little while, so I'm sure his wind and conditioning is going to be a factor. I'm going to have to weigh that." Considering how ravaged they were by injuries during the preseason, the Bucks enter the regular season relatively healthy. Knight and Butler have returned from minor injuries, leaving reserve forwards Carlos Delfino and Ekpe Udoh as the only two out for the beginning of the year. Udoh is still a couple of weeks away from returning from right knee surgery, while Delfino still has his surgically-repaired right foot in a walking boot. Staying small: Drew has been pleasantly surprised with how well his small-ball experiment has worked, and the Bucks likely will put some of the adjusted lineups on display Wednesday against the Knicks. Instead of Middleton playing power forward, Butler will slide to the four spot when the team goes small. Drew was forced to try the small lineup when Ilyasova and Udoh went down and will have it as an option when both are back. "My mind likes it, my body is trying to get used to it banging with the bigger guys," Butler said of playing power forward. "I think it's fun. It's a style and direction the NBA is heading toward -- more smaller, fast-pace basketball. It's fun to play that way, and we have had success playing it. I'm going to look forward to playing a lot of four periodically throughout the season." Milwaukee has seen the rewards of the small lineup offensively, as having four scorers and shooters on the floor is difficult to defend. The biggest adjustment the Bucks had to make with the small lineup was on defense. Drew changed a few pick-and-roll coverages and how the big men defended screens on the fly during the preseason. "We had to experiment with some things," Drew said. "Given our personnel, we had to look at what looks best for our personnel as far as defense is concerned. We did some change some things up, and I'm actually comfortable with that. We'll continue to add and subtract to see what works for us. "Right now, I'm at a good place where we are defensively. My concern, not from a scheme of things but from our ability to recognize when a shot goes up seeing where our floor balance is and if we can get back and take away easy transition baskets. That's something we'll have to continue to harp on each day." Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Majority of FIFA sponsors demanding independent review on reforms

Zack Greinke expected to choose between Dodgers, Giants by end of week

Reports: David Price, Red Sox agree to seven-year, $217 million contract

LSU officials’ media leaks about Les Miles blew up in their faces

Sam Bradford returns to practice, but does it matter for broken Eagles?

Cam Newton won’t be ‘lured in’ by talk of undefeated season


Report: Miami job is Mark Richt’s 'if he wants it'

WATCH: Cowboys’ security guard being investigated for choking Panthers fan

Mariners ‘trying hard’ to trade Mark Trumbo before Wednesday’s tender deadline

Bill Belichick: Patriots always looking to improve win or lose

NFL: Refs did not blow calls on Ravens' blocked FG return

Roethlisberger: I’ll play through any injury but a brain injury

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

WATCH: LSU releases video to honor Leonard Fournette

Report: Jim Hackett’s tenure as Michigan’s interim AD is ending

Josh Norman pretends to be a movie character each game

Ex-Giants OL Chris Snee 'wanted to see the Jets lose all the time'

Kyle Long gives Bears tickets to trash collector who found wallet

Last of a dying breed: Kobe's retirement marks end of an era

Are the Houston Rockets looking to trade Ty Lawson?

Anonymous agent: Lakers have 'no plan and no leadership'

LeBron on never facing Kobe in Finals: 'I didn't hold up my end'

Jerry Jones expects Tony Romo to start another five years

Devon Still announces that daughter is cancer-free

Ranking college football conference title games

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Josh McCown laments how he got job back from Manziel

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker