First Start, Better Finish

John Henson won't forget the first time he started a game in the NBA.

Coincidentally, he watched the perfect ending from the bench - in his first NBA start.

"I will probably remember that game. It's like we were out of it. Fans were getting to ready to leave."

You won't forget the game either - if you watched both halves. Down by 27 in the third quarter in Chicago, it was time to start saying things at your television. But as long as you didn't turn the television off or change the channel, you were treated to one of the most memorable Bucks games in recent history. The team went on a 31-4 run at one point and came all the way back to win 93-92, snapping a nine-game losing streak to the rival Bulls.

For Henson, it was an odd, sweet first start - and an even more odd, more sweet finish. He led the Bucks with 11 points at halftime, but the team trailed by 10 at the break. He didn't score in the second half or play in the fourth quarter, but did witness one of the greatest comeback victories in franchise history.

Henson made his first start in his 12th game in the NBA, age 22.

So, when did the rest of the Bucks start starting in the NBA? Follow along chronologically.

Links are to box scores of their first NBA starts. Doron Lamb is TBD.

Joel Przybilla

NBA first start: November 8, 2000 (career game number 2)

Stats: 3 rebounds, 2 blocks

Story: Przybilla started with the Bucks next to Sam Cassell, Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson, and Tim Thomas. The Bucks lost 108-97 to the Pacers to fall to 1-4 that night but went on to go 52-30 and reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

Drew Gooden

NBA first start: October 30, 2002 (career game number 1)

Stats: 16 points, 4 rebounds

Story: Such an interesting group around Gooden in his first NBA game and first NBA start: Jason Williams, Michael Dickerson, Wesley Person, Pau Gasol. Gooden made his first NBA start seven years to the day before Brandon Jennings.

Mike Dunleavy

NBA first start: March 18, 2003 (career game number 68)

Stats: 15 points, 7 rebounds

Story: Dunleavy lined up against the Kings in all of their 2000s glory: Mike Bibby, Doug Christine, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Webber, and Vlade Divac. He outscored all but one of them (Stojakovic, 20), but Sacramento's bench pushed them to a 117-91 win.

Samuel Dalembert

NBA first start: Nov. 14, 2003 (career game number 43)

Stats: 7 points, 10 rebounds

Story: After not starting in 34 games as a rookie in 2001-02, Dalembert sat out the entire 2002-03 season after undergoing arthroscopic left knee surgery. He made his first NBA start for the 76ers in a 100-96 win over the Spurs.

Marquis Daniels

NBA first start: Jan. 12, 2004 (career game number 22)

Stats: 16 points, 6-11 field goals

Story: Check out the other four Mavericks on the court when Daniels started as a rookie for the first time: Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Antione Walker, Dirk Nowitzki. Still, the Mavericks lost 115-102 to the Pistons, who went on to win the NBA title.

Beno Udrih

NBA first start: March 14, 2005 (career game number 61)

Stats: 25 points, 4 assists

Story: Udrih helped push the Spurs to 48-15 by leading all scorers with 25 points on a tidy 9-13 shooting effort. He also made all three of his three-pointers.

Ersan Ilyasova

NBA first start: November 18, 2006 (career game number 8)

Stats: 12 points, 2-2 three-pointers

Story: Like Harris, Ilyasova made his first NBA start as a 19 year-old. He is the only player from that 2006 team still on the Bucks.

Monta Ellis

NBA first start: April 14, 2006 (career game number 46)

Stats: 12 points, 3 assists

Story: Ellis made his first NBA start alongside current teammate Mike Dunleavy in Golden State in a 110-102 win over the Suns. Ellis started three times as a rookie - in three of the final four games of the regular season.

Luc Mbah a Moute

NBA first start: November 12, 2008> (career game number 9)

Stats: 11 points, 7 rebounds

Story: The second round draft pick worked his way into the starting lineup within a few weeks of his rookie season, debuting as a starter in an 82-78 win over the Spurs. He went on to start 52 games and play in all 82 games as a rookie.

Brandon Jennings

NBA first start: October 30, 2009 (career game number 1)

Stats: 17 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists

Story: Jennings started all 82 games as a rookie. And in his first career start (and game), he almost managed a triple-double.

Larry Sanders

NBA first start: November 27, 2010 (career game number 11)

Stats: 10 points, 2 blocks

Story: Sanders made the first of 12 starts as a rookie in a 104-101 win over the Bobcats. Interestingly, he has not started a game since his rookie season.

Ekpe Udoh

NBA first start: March 2, 2011 (career game number 36)

Stats: 6 points, 3 blocks

Story: Udoh made his first NBA start on with current teammate Monta Ellis with the Warriors in 106-102 win over the Wizards. He tied a season-best with three blocks in the game.

Tobias Harris

NBA first start: March 3, 2012 (career game number 23)

Stats: 4 points, 2 steals

Story: Harris debuted as an NBA starter at age 19 last season in a 114-98 loss in Orlando. So far this season, he has started all 13 games.




Alex Boeder

My passions? Writing and the Bucks, to start. So it is good to be here. I have reported on media row for just about every Bucks home game since 2009-10 - almost all of that time writing for BrewHoop. I have also written for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, SB Nation, ESPN Milwaukee, Slam Online, etc. You can follow me on Twitter @alexboeder or email me at