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Recap: Bucks 65, Mavs 59

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No one ever claimed summer league was pretty, did they?  Despite fielding six probable roster players against a pretty thin Mavs team, the Bucks' subpar shooting (36%) and general sloppiness kept the score down and the game close throughout.  The Mavs somehow managed to turn it over 27 times in 40 minutes while the Bucks managed 22 of their own, and neither team managed more than 16 points in a quarter until the final period when the Bucks outscored Dallas 21-20.  Anyway, what you're really interested in are the player reviews, so let's cut to the chase after the jump.

Brandon Jennings
25 min, 3/12 fg, 3/4 ft, 10 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast, 3 pf, 2 to, 2 stl

Jennings' matchup against fellow speedster Rodrigue Beaubois pretty much fell flat, as neither guy ever looked to get into a comfort zone.  Beaubois seemed to neutralize Jennings' quickness for much of the night, but despite a better shooting line (4/9 fg) he also racked up eight fouls and six turnovers in 22 minutes.  In contrast, Jennings actually looked pretty conservative, turning it over just twice and not showing much of the flash he's been hyped to have.  That's probably fine with Scott Skiles, who sat by himself on the opposite side of the gym from John Hammond, Billy McKinney and Jeff Weltman. Beaubois played pretty aggressive defense and had a couple athletic finishes around the rim, including a two-handed alley-oop where he lost Jennings on the backdoor.

Jennings struggled with his shot for most of the night, starting 0-7 before draining a three from the right wing with two minutes to go in the third.  He followed it up with a quick yank and pull-up jumper from the top of the key and also dropped in a tough, scissor-kicking floater from the lane early in the fourth.  Overall he had a hard time getting to the hoop and he doesn't look like he's strong enough to be much of a finisher--at least not now.  He did have his share of nice passes on the night but thanks to the Bucks' cold shooting he finished with just two assists. At least he can feel a bit better about the second half, when he was 3/5 from the field and scored all 10 of his points.

Joe Alexander
30 min, 4/18 fg, 6/7 ft, 14 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, 4 pf, 2 to, 1 blk

Well, you can't accuse the guy of not being aggressive.  Joe's shot wasn't falling despite creating some pretty good looks, but that's kind of been the story for him, hasn't it?  It didn't seem to bother him as he continued to work hard on both ends, operating mostly from the high post against rookie PF Ahmad Nivins, who had a very fine, active game with 19 points on 8/10 fg.  The Bucks worked out Nivins before the draft but passed on him in the second round as he dropped to 56th overall.  He had a couple nice putback dunks when no one boxed him out, in addition to showing a feathery touch from the mid-range.  I like him a lot.

Kelvin Sampson mentioned this week that they would try to get Alexander more isos and that certainly happened, as he had a series of faceup isolation plays run for him, most notably in the first half.  We saw his excellent first step on numerous occasions last year and that was also apparent playing against bigger, slower defenders like Nivins.  He almost had a tremendous drive and dunk on the baseline in the first half, but he lost his grip on the ball as he was about to finish.  Despite grabbing a game-high seven rebounds he still doesn't seem to ever box out, instead relying exclusively on hustle and athleticism.

Amir Johnson
21 min, 2/5 fg, 4 pts, 4 rebs, 7 pf, 7 to, 2 blk, 2 stl

No one's arguing that Amir played well, but I was still kind of shocked to see he had 7 turnovers--it seemed like he barely touched the ball.  Looking at the box score play-by-play, three of those were on loose ball fouls following Bucks' misses, which I didn't even think counted as turnovers since neither team theoretically has possession off a missed shot.  Whatever. 

He also continued to foul like it's going out of style, but it's important to put that in the proper context.  It's not like he was getting worked in the post; he got the aforementioned three fouls on loose balls and had another couple defending the rim after somebody else lost their man. I can live with that, especially given the way he came out of nowhere to block a couple shots.

I'm not sure whether it's something he'd look for in a regular season game, but he also was 1/3 on long two-pointers.  C'mon Amir, let's not go all Gadzuric on us. 

Jodie Meeks
27 min, 6/9 fg, 1/1 3fg, 1/2 ft, 2 rebs, 2 pf

Hey, somebody actually played well!  Meeks was exactly as advertised, shooting mostly from mid-range and looking as comfortable as you'd expect from a guy who averaged 24 ppg in the SEC.  Unlike Jennings, Meeks always keeps excellent balance as he shoots, which helps explain how consistent his stroke is.  Pretty much all his points were off catch-and-shoot plays, and I don't remember him even trying to drive to the rim.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
30 min, 2/5 fg, 2/4 ft, 6 pts, 5 rebs, 2 ast, 4 pf, 1 stl, 3 to, 1 blk

I wasn't focusing on Luc as much as the other roster guys, and he didn't do that much out of the ordinary.  He played SF against Luke Jackson much of the night, and showed his usual good footwork defending the perimeter.  Offensively, he had a couple finishes around the rim but didn't show off any newfound range or anything else we didn't already know. 

Salim Stoudamire
13 min, 2/4 fg, 0/1 3fg, 2/2 ft, 6 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast, 5 pf, 1 to, 1 blk

Stoudamire hasn't played competitive basketball in about a year, so this week is really just a chance for him to get used to the pace of almost-NBA-action.  He played sparingly alongside former UAB PG Paul Delaney, though Stoudamire seemed to handle a bit more of the PG duties and neither guy did anything to distinguish himself.