CI’s Q&A With Larry Harris
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SECAUCUS, NJ, Jan. 9, 2007 -- Recently, the Milwaukee Bucks have been hit by a spate of injuries. Bobby Simmons has been out all season, Charlie Villanueva has a nagging shoulder injury and the NBA's fifth leading scorer, Michael Redd, aggravated his patellar tendon and will miss four to six weeks.

Then on Monday, fate seemed to pile on as guard Maurice Williams sprained his shoulder.

So, where do the Bucks go from here? Central Intelligence got Bucks GM Larry Harris on the horn today to ask him about Milwaukee's rash of injuries, what roster moves they could make in lieu of the injuries and what is the prevailing mood as the Bucks try to move forward.

Can you tell us about Maurice Williams' status?
Larry Harris
: "He got diagnosed in Denver [on Monday] with a shoulder sprain, but he's actually going for an MRI tonight, so we don't know.

"An early guess is two to three weeks."

Are you thinking of bringing someone on to the active roster?
Harris
: "We started talking about some guys today. We have a game [Wednesday] against Toronto, and we'll look maybe to address that on Thursday or Friday.

Could it be someone you let go already or someone from the D-League?
Harris
: "I don't think so. We liked Chris McCray, but we're just in a different mode. This guy [we pick up] will be someone who's played in the NBA who has experience because this guy will come in and play. We're going to need someone who's going to step in and be productive."

We're you surprised by the severity of Michael Redd's injury?
Harris
: "When a player gets injured, you don't know how bad it is. For some people, it's worse when it happens but it gets better afterwards or 'I didn't even feel it' and then you go home and it feels worse.

"We've been through so many injuries in the last four years, I never really, until they get with the doctor and they get the diagnosis, I never really speculate any more. It's four to six, it could be all six, but Michael doesn't think it'll be that long."

Well, he's an exceptionally hard worker ...
Harris
: "When he comes back, I want him to be healthy. I don't want him to come back at 80 percent, where he feels he needs to come back because we're struggling or that he wants to come back and play and all of a sudden he re-injures it. I'm trying to stay away from that.

What is your take on Charlie Villanueva's shoulder injury?
Harris
: "The deal is this: there's a lot of speculation about surgery and all this. Basically, what it is, he has some pain in his right shoulder. We have given him a Cortisone shot, which we gave to him on Monday. We're going to let that take it's course for a week and he'll be re-evaluated on Monday.

"If the pain persists then we need to look at the possibility of surgery or some type of procedure, but at this point,until we know exactly how his body reacts to the Cortisone, all of that is premature. But we should know within the next week the direction we're going."

What is the mood there right now?
Harris
: "I think it's kind of surreal in the sense that today, someone called me and asked me how I was doing and I said, 'It's like it's not real, like you're in a dream and that this could take place.'

"But again, no one's going to feel sorry for us. Toronto is not going to feel bad for us, neither is Philly. We have our guys that are there who are healthy who will have to step up and play. You know they're going to have to accept the role they have. David Noel will get more time, and so will Ersan [Ilyasova]. Steve Blake has started in the NBA, we still have Ruben [Patterson], who has played very well for us this year.

"And I think this will be more responsibility and more pressure for Andrew Bogut to accept. [Brian] Skinner has played well, Dan Gadzuric will have to step up, Charlie Bell has been good for us all year. We've had guys accept their roles and play very well through some of these injuries.

"It's unfortunate about all of it, because on our six-game winning streak, when we were playing so well, both Ruben and Charlie [Villanueva] were coming off the bench and giving us a nice boost. And those things have changed.

"From Terry's standpoint, I thought we were into a pretty good routine and rhythm, and obviously that's changed because of these injuries.

"There's no 'woe is me' attitude that surrounds the ballclub, but it is an opportunity for those who didn't get consistent minutes through out the year, it's their opportunity and I hope they make the most of it."

Will there be any changes to Terry's schemes or offensive sets?
Harris
: "A coach has style and Terry wants to play up-tempo basketball, like a Washington in the East. But personnel dictates that.

"We still have Ruben as a wing runner. Charlie will still run. Steve's a little different point guard than Mo is. We probably won't play as fast. I think we'll try to increase the tempo, but I don't think we'll be as free flowing as we were with Michael on the floor.

"One advantage Steve does have, he does push the ball up the floor, he will throw ahead as he understands that role. So, maybe we slow it down a bit and Andrew becomes a little more involved from a low-post standpoint. Are we going to try to score 103 a game? Probably. But it could be one of those situations where we're averaging in the mid-90s because of the personnel we have and we're just not as deep as we were when we had everyone healthy.

Did you mention that Andrew would be more on the low block?
Harris
: "I think we need him more in an offensive threat position, which would be more on the low block. He won't exclusively be there all the time, but if you've seen us play, he's often in the high post. But now, we may have him on the low block and have him operating from that part of the floor."

You guys had been running a lot of high-post offense...
Harris
: "He's good there, but he doesn't see himself as an offensive threat from there. But when you have these types of injuries where it could be two to three weeks for Mo and when the rest of the guys come back, it's how you adjust. It's a good opportunity for David, Ersan, Charlie Bell, Steve Blake and these guys who haven't had the opportunity to step up and see what they can bring to the table."