Tuesday , Oct , 30 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Yi Jianlian Silences Critics By Starting At Power Forward For Milwaukee Bucks

Is Yi 19 or 22 years old? Is he going to conform to the NBA or continue challenging the league’s established norms? Is he a future star or over-hyped bust? Yi faced all these questions heading into Milwaukee’s training camp. So far, the rookie has provided answers with his strong play, beating out third year pro Charlie Villanueva for the starting power forward spot …

ESPN.com news services reports on Yi Jianlian winning the starting power forward spot in Milwaukee:

Three weeks ago, first-round pick Yi Jianlian was not guaranteed playing time in Milwaukee‘s rotation.

Talk about progress. The highly touted 6-foot-11 power forward from moved his way into the Bucks’ starting five for Wednesday night’s opener against Orlando.

Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak unveiled his lineup Monday. Also getting a starting nod is veteran forward Desmond Mason, who signed as a free agent in the offseason to rejoin his former team.

Other starters are guards Mo Williams and Michael Redd and center Andrew Bogut.

My Very Quick Take: Is Yi 19 or 22 years old? Is he going to conform to the NBA or continue challenging the league’s established norms? Is he a future star or over-hyped bust?

Yi faced all these questions heading into Milwaukee‘s training camp. So far, the rookie has provided answers with his strong play, beating out third year pro Charlie Villanueva for the starting power forward spot.

Mo Williams, Michael Redd, Desmond Mason, and Andrew Bogut round out Milwaukee‘s starting five. Williams and Redd form a strong back-court, while the athletic Mason should contribute in his return to Wisconsin.

But Yi and the Bucks’ fate is linked to Bogut. The Australian must not only deliver a big season, but create space for Yi’s finesse game. If these two gel, Milwaukee could be in the hunt for a playoff spot. And in the future, Bogut and Yi could develop into a nice inside duo.

Training camp was a success for Yi. Milwaukee fans hope he continues answering all questions with his fine play.

Should Yi Jianlian start over Charlie Villanueva? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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