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Bucks 86, Grizzlies 83: Second half surge gets Bucks first win of new era

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UNDEFEATED!

Gary Dineen- Getty Images

Box Score

The Bucks got their new era of basketball underway on a positive note tonight as they fought back against the Memphis Grizzlies and pulled out a 86-83 victory in Green Bay. It's likely that this game will be forgotten a few weeks or months from now, but for now it must feel pretty good to be back in the win column.

Though the Grizzlies didn't play their starting lineup for too long (only Quincy Pondexter exceeded 20 minutes), they held the lead over the Bucks for most, if not all of the first three quarters. Jon Leuer (11p/5r), Earl Clark (6p/4r), and Patrick Christopher (6p) were all able to come in off the bench and make plays that kept Memphis ahead of Milwaukee.

The Bucks were struggling to get anything to fall early on, and found themselves down double digits multiple times throughout the game. In the late third and entire fourth quarter though, a couple of the youngsters were able to find a rhythm and close the gap. Jabari Parker (14p/8r) was very active around the basket and in transition and was able to go 5-6 from the field after starting 1-9. Parker's best moment came out of the post when he shook Earl Clark with a nasty "Dream Shake" under the hoop for an easy score.

Khris Middleton (17p/3r) and John Henson (12p/7r/2b) also got hot down the stretch. Henson was active around the rim on both ends and Middleton did his Middleton-y thing and knocked down clutch shots when they were needed. Those three guys joined the distribution combo of Brandon Knight and Giannis Antetokounmpo--who combined for 11 assists--in the lineup as the game wound to a close. This made people rather happy.

Additional Observations:
  • Larry Sanders (10p/15r) had a double-double in his first game back since February. It's too early to dust off the LARRY SANDERS! title, but it is really encouraging to see that level of productivity in his first game back. About those early 18 footers, though...
  • O.J. Mayo, Micheal Eric, and Elijah Millsap were the only three Bucks to not play tonight. As tempting as it may be, I suggest you don't look too much into that. Jason Kidd said that the lineups would look different tomorrow in Detroit.
  • Were you worried about the veterans stealing minutes, even if it's just the preseason? Here are the five players that got the most minutes tonight: Jabari Parker, Brandon Knight, John Henson, Larry Sanders, and Khris Middleton.
  • With the game not on TV anywhere, it was hard to track what the Bucks were trying to accomplish on the court. It sounded like they ran a lot of action out of the high post with the big men trying to make passes. It was predictably sloppy (21 turnovers), but it will be interesting to see how that offense looks.
  • Additionally, there also seemed to be heavy use of two-guard lineups, or at the very least lineups with multiple points of creation. This should again be interesting to see, whenever that becomes a possibility.
  • Teams the Bucks are technically better than: Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, New York, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles (Clippers), Portland, and San Antonio.
  • The next Bucks game is roughly 20 hours away. They'll head to Detroit to take on Brandon Jennings and the Detroit Pistons. See you tomorrow.