The Milwaukee Bucks will be without starting center John Henson for Game 3 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Boston Celtics at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Friday night.
Earlier in the day, Henson was listed as doubtful for the game with back soreness. He played 37 minutes in Game 2 on Tuesday in Boston, racking up 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and pulling down six rebounds.
With Henson out, Tyler Zeller will likely play a bigger role in Game 3. He didn't score in six minutes in Game 2.
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"If he's not (able to play), I've got to step up and make some plays," Zeller said after the Bucks' shootaround on Friday. "He's done a great job in the last couple games."
The Celtics grabbed nine offensive rebounds in Game 2 and Zeller knows a big part of his duties will be keeping Boston off the glass.
"They do a great job of coming hard every possession," Zeller said. "So if we can do a better job on our initial defense, we're not scrambling to the blockouts, then I think that helps us. It helps us get out in transition also."
Bucks coach Joe Prunty also would have to decide if Thon Maker sees some action as the backup center. The second-year player has been on the court only one minute in the series.
"We're going to need them tonight," Bucks guard Khris Middleton said of Zeller and Maker. "We need them to play physical and we need them to rebound, help us out on the boards. Just be a presence.
"Thon has been having an up-and-down year all year. Hopefully he'll be a great spark off the bench. Tyler is a new addition to us, so we're still trying to get in tune. But we know what he brings to the table. So far he's been able to help us in major ways."
Prunty could also use Giannis Antetokounmpo more at center, meaning more minutes could open at the forward spot for Jabari Parker.
Parker voiced his frustration on Thursday at his lack of playing time in this series.
"He can't worry about some of the things he's worrying about," Middleton said. "He just has to go out there and play as hard as he can. It's unfortunate that he's in the mood he's in right now.
"We need him in the worst way possible. He's a high-level player and can definitely change the series around."
With Henson unavailable, the Bucks made him inactive and activated Brandon Jennings. Rookie D.J. Wilson was also inactive.
Jennings and Wilson were inactive in the first two games of the series.
Old foes: Middleton and the Celtics' Marcus Morris have been playing against each other since college, when Morris' Kansas teams went 3-0 against Middleton's Texas A&M squads in 2010 and '11.
The two players did a lot of jawing in Game 2 and had to be separated under the basket after a hard foul by Morris.
"He's a great player. He's a tough player," Middleton said. "I respect his game. I don't know if he respects mine; I don't really care."
"It's the playoffs. He's going to give me everything he's got. He's going to try to get in my head and be physical. I've got no problem with that. I've just got to stay in my head, stay in my lane, play my game and not get into one-on-one battles."