The Milwaukee Bucks started the season on a hot streak behind MVP-caliber play from Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they’ve tapered off a bit since and have basically been playing .500 ball the past month or so.
Still, they sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings at 21-18, and a strong second-half push could put them in prime position heading into the postseason to be the threat so many projected the young Bucks to be entering the season.
It’ll help if they can get back to full strength for the season’s stretch run, and on Wednesday, Jason Kidd offered up some promising news on that front regarding injured forward Jabari Parker. Parker has missed the entire season thus far after tearing his ACL last February, but it appears Milwaukee could get him back on the court before the All-Star break.
Via Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Before Wednesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, Bucks coach Jason Kidd narrowed down the timeline a bit.
“He’s doing great,” Kidd said. “Again, he’s doing everything; he’s practicing, he’s participating with the Herd. So, he’s getting a lot of basketball under his belt. Again, I think we’re about a month away from having him back.”
So is Kidd expecting Parker to return in mid-February, before the NBA All-Star Game break?
“Yeah, I think it’s always been that, I think, that week before the All-Star break.”
Parker has been slowly working his way back into game shape with the Bucks’ G-League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, and could be a major boon for a team that could use another scorer and slasher on the wing. Parker averaged better than 20 points per game last season to go along with six rebounds prior to going down with the knee injury.
His various injuries have certainly been a cause for concern this early in his career, but at just 22, Parker still has an opportunity to live up to that enormous potential that made him the No. 2 pick in the 2014 Draft. If he can do that, he may be just what the Bucks need in terms of added support around Antetokounmpo.