(WNFL) - Second-year forward Khris Middleton will start tonight for the Milwaukee Bucks in their regular season opener at New York. Middleton – who was traded from Detroit in the deal that sent Brandon Jennings to the Pistons – will fill in for the injured Ersan Ilyasova. Bucks’ coach Larry Drew said today it’s possible that Ilyasova will play off the bench. The Bucks are still being careful with Ilyasova, after he sprained his right ankle October 8th during an exhibition at Cleveland. Middleton will start at small forward. Caron Butler will move to the power forward spot, and go up against Carmelo Anthony. Drew said the 22-year-old Middleton had a “phenomenal” training camp. Middleton said that until now, starting has been just a dream. Basketball is a universal language – and that’s fortunate for the Bucks, who have five foreign players on their Opening Day roster. That’s the fourth-highest number in the N-B-A, and the league has a record 92 international players from 39 nations and territories. Forward Ersan Ilyasova is one of just four players who were on the Bucks a year ago. He hails from Turkey. Former Buck Carlos Delfino from Argentina is back, along with ex-Buck Zaza Pachulia from Georgia. Milwaukee’s international newcomers are 18-year-old first-round forward Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greece, and Miroslav Raduljica from Serbia. Milwaukee lost two international players during the off-season – Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from Cameroon, and Gustavo Avon of Mexico.
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