Bucks taking extra caution with Chicago native Parker's recovery

 
 
Updated 1/28/2018 6:48 PM
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  • Bucks forward Jabari Parker, a Chicago native, is taking a slower path to recovery than Bulls guard Zach LaVine. The players suffered the same injury last February, but Parker tore the ACL in his left knee for a second time. He isn't set to return until next month.

    Bucks forward Jabari Parker, a Chicago native, is taking a slower path to recovery than Bulls guard Zach LaVine. The players suffered the same injury last February, but Parker tore the ACL in his left knee for a second time. He isn't set to return until next month. Associated Press File Photo/Dec. 2016

Bucks forward Jabari Parker tore the ACL in his left knee last Feb. 8, just five days after Zach LaVine suffered the same injury.

While LaVine played in his eighth game Sunday, Parker is still on hold until next month. The Chicago native has been practicing with the Bucks, but the team wants to take extra caution since this was the second time in three NBA seasons Parker tore the ACL in his left knee.

"The plan is at some point in February," said Milwaukee coach Joe Prunty, who coached his third game since taking over for the fired Jason Kidd. "The big thing with Jabari is he's worked very, very hard and as much as possible, we want to try to stick to the game plan for him."

At the time of his injury, Parker was averaging 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds. But in four NBA seasons, he has played in just 152 of a possible 294 games.

"Even when he comes back, he'll have missed a significant amount of time," Prunty said. "I think the expectation will be, 'Oh, Jabari's back (and he'll pick up where he left off).' That's not fair."

Nwaba on the attack:

Before Sunday's game, Bulls guard David Nwaba was a popular topic of conversation, since at 6-foot-4, he did a nice job of guarding 6-11 Giannis Antetokounmpo when the Bulls won twice in Milwaukee last month.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg talked about the ways Nwaba helps the team besides defense.

"He's a guy that understands he's best when he's attacking the basket," Hoiberg said. "I think David's a very underrated passer. When he does get into the paint, he's made some really good plays for us.

"So we need David in attack mode and our guys know when he gets the ball off the glass, they need to run with him. A lot of times they can't keep up, but David is a guy who can get us an easy basket just by rebounding and pushing the ball down the floor."

Bucks coach with Cubs ties:

The last two coaches to face the Bulls were Milwaukee's Joe Prunty and the Lakers' Luke Walton. Coincidentally, Prunty was Walton's high school coach at University High in San Diego.

Prunty, who took over for the fired Jason Kidd last week, also coached a promising baseball player named Mark Prior.

"Apparently what I taught Mark Prior is how to be a good baseball player," Prunty said. "But Mark Prior played for me for a year. Mark was amazing, character-wise. He handled (the Cubs' disappointing 2003 playoffs) so professionally, so well. Just a great man, great sports mind."

Bulls horns:

In the second quarter, Nikola Mirotic passed Steve Kerr for fifth place on the Bulls' list of career 3-point baskets with 431. The top four are Kirk Hinrich (1,049), Ben Gordon (770), Scottie Pippen (664) and Michael Jordan (555). … Before Sunday's game, the Bulls held a moment of silence for Chicago-based sports agent Henry Thomas, who repped Dwyane Wade, among others.

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