Thibodeau not overlooking regional rival Milwaukee

Thibodeau not overlooking regional rival Milwaukee
October 21, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Of all the teams in the Central Division, Milwaukee might be the most under the radar.

The Bulls and Pacers are clearly the class of the division, while offseason additions have made Cleveland and Indiana two teams many observers expect to end their respective postseason droughts. But the Bucks, seemingly caught in between rebuilding mode and small-budget summer moves, aren’t exactly en vogue these days.

Just don’t tell that to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

“I think they’re going to be good. They have some very good young pieces. [O.J.] Mayo is a tough player. [Caron] Butler is a very tough player. [Larry] Sanders I got to know with USA Baksetball. He’s improved and very talented,” the coach said. "[Ersan] Ilyasova has been banged up some but he’s good. Their backcourt when you look at [Brandon] Knight and [Luke] Ridnour, they’re under the radar but talented. Nobody is talking about them but they’re pretty good.”

Thibodeau is also intrigued by 18-year-old Greek rookie small Giannis Antetokounmpo, a unique talent new Bucks head coach Larry Drew, who hesitantly compared the first-round draft pick to Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, his teammate with the Lakers.

“Again, they got a guy — a lot of guys on their team that can play, that when you watch them, you’re saying, ‘Okay, no one’s talking about them, but they’re talented and they’re tough.’ They’re getting organized right now,” Thibodeau said. “Larry Drew is an excellent coach. He’s getting started. You’ve got a lot of new players, you’ve got to get everyone onto the same page, but they’re going to be good.”