Well, the Bucks tanked their way to a winless pool record in Summer League, just as they planned. Right? Their next game will be the first in a single-elimination tournament, meaning one more loss and Summer League is over. They take on the Spurs at 5:30 pm CST today. That makes now a good time to check out a bit more coverage of their last contest.
Doug McDermott leading top prospects in summer league - ESPN (Insider Only)
Bradford Doolittle takes a look at the rookies and sophomores who have impressed thus far in NBA Summer League play. This was written before the Jazz game, but here's what he had to say about Jabari Parker...
Parker is yet another rookie struggling with his shot, but he still showcased the repertoire that will make him a productive scorer. He can get looks almost at will, but as with many players of his ilk, Parker must refine that ability; just because you can create a shot doesn't mean you should. His quickness and strength off the dribble is his greatest attribute, and his willingness to kick out to shooters when defenders collapse on him is impressive as well. But Parker is not in good shape and has been sloppy with the ball. There's a long way to go before the regular season, but it's not hard to imagine Parker as a 20-point scorer right off the bat, albeit one with a shooting percentage trending in the low 40s. But, hey, Kevin Durant shot 43 percent as a rookie. You have to start somewhere.
...and Giannis Antetokounmpo:
If he continues to progress, Antetokounmpo could be one of the most improved players in the league in 2014-15. Thus far in Vegas, he has demonstrated a singular ability to control the ball down the floor, using his 6-foot-10 frame to cover the court in just a few strides. He also appears to have gotten better at leveraging his size advantage against guards; if he can regularly back smaller players into the lane, Antetokounmpo is capable of scoring at will. Still, he needs to get better at finishing, whether it's scoring at the hoop or completing passes when he beats his man and draws a help defender. He's not yet an efficient performer, but time and talent are on his side.
Las Vegas Summer League, Day 4 grades - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
A quick hitter on Parker's tough game against Utah:
The comparisons to Carmelo Anthony are apt, at least in the sense that Parker is similarly high-maintenance when it comes to space to operate. When Parker’s defender was on an island, his moves were brutally effective. But when there was weakside help or a crowded lane? Parker’s attempts were essentially sets for Rudy Gobert to spike. Is Milwaukee going to be able to provide Parker with the space he needs to thrive?
Fair points, for sure. Parker looked pretty flummoxed by Rudy Gobert and Co. when he took the ball inside, and his jumper continued to miss the mark. All in all Parker's had a pretty rough go of things in SL, but as Jeremy writes over at Bucksketball, things were much more encouraging for Giannis:
[Giannis] was playing point guard for the majority of his time on the court, so the ball was in his hands often. And the influx of possessions didn’t seem to make him weary of doing something with them. It seemed like every time he caught the ball, in the first half especially, his plan was to attack the basket. And he did so in a number of different ways.
Point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo? " NBA.com | Hang Time Blog
More discussion of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Point Giant. Scott Howard-Cooper talked with Jason Kidd about Giannis' potential as a de facto lead guard"
"With the group we have right now, with B-Knight and Giannis, we have additional playmakers and when we have that on the floor, it makes the game easy. We’ll see how the roster shakes out, but we’re not afraid to play him at the point, as you see."
That was Monday night, after Antetokounmpo played a large portion of his 32 minutes at the point, registering five assists against four turnovers along with 15 points on six-of-16 shooting, and some with Wolters on the court. This is now officially an audition.
Giannis' versatility and creativity with the ball is maybe the single most encouraging thing we've seen so far in Vegas. While there isn't much of an offense to run (blame the shockingly bad roster, even by SL standards, if you'd like), Giannis is looking to make plays for himself and teammates at every opportunity, and he's done so in new and exciting ways. Whether it's taking advantage of a smaller defender to get a clean look from midrange or warping defenses in crazy pick and rolls with Parker, Giannis has shown a much more complete repertoire of plays and actions designed to get good shots in the half court. It's a welcome development, and pretty impressive considering how young and inexperienced he still is. There's lots to like, even if his finishing around the rim hasn't been great.
A 6'11" PG, just as a theory, is obviously a really intriguing proposition. Giannis' solid ball handling and excellent vision make it seem far more realistic than anyone might have expected. The possibilities seem limitless--imagine a gigantic lineup of Giannis, Wolters, Parker, Henson, and Sanders. Or swap Ilyasova in for Henson to get more shooting. Weird, fun, and just crazy enough to work.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Giannis has shown a ton of promise, but he still makes a lot of mistakes and is prone to thinking faster than he or his teammates can act. He's tallied almost twice as many turnovers as assists, though some of that is due to ineffective teammates. And his defense, while immensely disruptive on the ball, still falters when he's asked to chase players around screens, which is pretty much the name of the game at the one. He'd likely do a lot of cross-matching in any lineup that makes him the nominal PG, but the role would be much different than the hybrid 3/4 he played as a rookie. Still, any development is a good thing, and for a guy whose calling card seems to be versatility, this new wrinkle is really fun to watch.
Milwaukee Bucks rookie Jabari Parker offers insight into his own stats - ESPN
In the first installment of Insider Summer School's Data Dialogue, Jabari Parker sits down with Bradford Doolittle to give an inside look behind his own statistics. Bradford Doolittle is everywhere.
News on potential Milwaukee Bucks investors (Aaron Rodgers?) remains elusive - Milwaukee Business Journal
Today was supposed to be the date local investors were announced, but it sounds like that revelation is still a few days away. The NBA's Board of Governors (i.e. other owners) met in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but it wasn't known if they discussed additional investors in the Bucks. Minority stakeholders need to be vetted by the NBA in a similar manner to majority owners, and the league reportedly wants potential investors to put up about $5 million at minimum. Lasry and Edens said some of their friends may also join the group with smaller shares.
Urban Milwaukee: Sheehy's Common Dream for Metro Milwaukee
Sticking to the business side of things, here's a passionate, comprehensive opinion piece from Tim Sheehy in favor of a new arena for the Bucks. Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and a member of the Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force (see our FAQ), has been one of the most outspoken proponents of a new downtown arena, and in his piece for Urban Milwaukee he sells it as a rallying point for the whole community:
The question before Milwaukee is the appropriateness of enhancing the "play here" portion of our value proposition. If we want this community to compete for higher levels of prosperity, the "play here" portion must be part of the equation.
For example, we invest $1,458,000,000 annually in tax dollars for K-12 education in the City of Milwaukee. We invest $61,000,000 per year in tax dollars to support all our major cultural attractions in Milwaukee County, including the park system, including Miller Park. About 4 percent of what we spend on education. On a per capita basis we spend about $50 per year on our public cultural and entertainment assets. Using a method similar to Miller Park it would cost less than an additional $10 annually to support the partial financing of a new arena. No single taxpayer benefits directly from all of these expenditures, but as a community we share in the benefits.