The Bucks were up and down all night Saturday, eventually falling to the Charlotte Bobcats 83-76. With highs like a 31-14 scoring outburst in the second quarter that featured two highlight dunks and lows like being outscored 33-9 in the fourth quarter, there was a lot to process for Larry Drew afterwards.
He felt that his team actually played pretty well despite blowing a big lead, but was ''disturbed'' by the lack of urgency and unsatisfactory body language coming out of halftime with a double-digit lead. It's early though, and Drew is convinced that with more time to gel and get some players back, nights like these won't happen as frequently.
Olek Czyz: The 6-foot-7 training camp invite out of Nevada brought the crowd to its feet in the 2nd quarter, putting home an impressive alley-oop finish. Czyz finished the quarter with ten points, coming up just short of the entire Bobcat roster's total of 14. While Czyz won't be one of the Bucks' 15 guaranteed contracts on opening night, he's made the most of his opportunities with Ilyasova and others out due to injury.
Brandon Knight: There continue to be high highs and low lows with the young point guard. At times, Knight showed he could split defenders nicely and found open shooters in the corners. He also had a couple of nice feeds out of the pick and roll set. Conversely, Knight still struggles with decision making, whether it be dishing to the roll man in traffic or shot selection with the ball in his control. Knight will continue to find difficulty in balancing learning the nuances of the point guard position while trying to be a contributor offensively. It's still extremely early in this process--and Knight did grab 9 rebounds and hand out 7 assists--but tonight was a good reflection of how far he still needs to come along.
John Henson: Henson ended up with a sneaky double-double, recording ten points and 10 rebounds in a team-high 34 minutes of action. Henson succeeded in being an active rebounder and defender, but his offense is still very much limited to getting to that lefty hook in any fashion he can. Regardless of what he can't do yet, Henson was one of the few bright spots that sustained his performance throughout the game.
Caron Butler/O.J. Mayo: The starting 2 and 3 started out strongly, but cooled off and grew frustrated when things went awry in the fourth quarter (in fairness, everyone did). Frustration boiled over for Butler with 12.7 seconds remaining in the game when he received a technical for jawing with the refs after Henson was called for a very questionable foul. Immediately after earning the tech, Butler continued to dismiss the refs' warnings and was promptly ejected from the game. Butler finished with 18 points and Mayo finished with 15, the two highest totals on the team.
Luke Ridnour: Ridnour did Ridnour-y things, conducting the offense and shooting the ball well. He shot a pleasantly surprising 4-5 from three to finish the game with 14 points, and at a few given points in the game was the only person who seemed capable of making a shot. Classic Ridnour-y behavior.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Outside of this amazing putback dunk and a subsequent block on the other end, there wasn't much gyro ball to be had tonight. Antetokounmpo didn't turn the ball over in his 14 minutes of action (progress!), but also didn't really make as much of an impact as he did in the previous two preseason games (read: that's okay).