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Bucks vs. Spurs Preview: Giannis, Jabari and company still looking for first Vegas win

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and the Bucks look to shake off three straight losses when they take on the Spurs in the first round of the Vegas Summer League tournament.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
2014 Las Vegas Summer League
July 16, 2014
Thomas & Mack Center | Las Vegas, NV
5:30 CT
NBA Summer League Live
Probable Starters
Nate Wolters PG Bryce Cotton
C.J. Williams SG Darius Morris
Giannis Antetokounmpo SF Austin Daye
Jabari Parker PF Kyle Anderson
JaJuan Johnson C Jeff Ayres

Linkage: Pounding the Rock48 Minutes of Hell | Project: Spurs

Maybe summer league isn't so different from the regular season after all.

Three games into the league's annual pilgrimage to the desert, the Milwaukee Bucks are once again at the bottom of the standings, while the world champion Spurs are a tidy 2-1. And while no one should be particularly concerned about the Bucks scraping out a win before they return home--and they'll get at least one more game after this--it would certainly make everyone feel better to see Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo and company play well enough earn the Bucks a win.

Parker asserted himself only in spurts of Monday's blowout loss to the Jazz, scoring a ho-hum 14 points on 6/14 shooting to go along with four steals (yay!) and just two rebounds (oh...). Still, it's not like we need to raise any red flags--Parker still looks capable of getting shots whenever he wants them, even if finding the right balance of aggression and patience remains a work in progress. He'll be fine either way, but a big night against the Spurs would still be a very nice thing.

Giannis' week has been decidedly more interesting, mainly because he came to Vegas as more of a mystery than Parker--despite a full season of NBA games under his belt. Could he initiate offense? Create his own shot? Make enough of those shots? The answer this week seems to be a resounding probably, though we should be wary of taking anything we see in Vegas too seriously. Talk of Giannis running the Bucks' offense at times suddenly doesn't seem so far-fetched, leaving us with a few months to sort through all the fun possibilities that might entail.

As for the Spurs, they have their own interesting forward combination in 1st round pick Kyle Anderson and former first rounder Austin Daye. Anderson hasn't put up big numbers thus far--5.7 ppg on 36.4% shooting, 4.3 rpg and 3 apg--but he's also turned it over just three times in as many games. How very un-Vegas-like. Anderson and Antetokounmpo should both spend a fair bit of time running their respective offenses, so it should be a fun matchup to watch.

As for the rest of the Spurs, here's a quick take fro Ian Dougherty at Pounding the Rock:

For the Spurs, JaMychal Green may be the most consistent player in the first three games. Green has made the most of his limited minutes, scoring 9.7 ppg and snagging 6.7 rbg in just 16.6 minutes each game. He's one of those playeres that seems to be magnetized to the ball, always being in the right place. He scores in a variety of ways, able to get put-backs around the rim, or make the short corner jumper off of a teammate's dribble drive. Defensively, he's always active, communicating with teammates and positioned well to protect the rim.

In this game, it will be interesting to see how the Spurs defend the perimeter threats of Parker and Antetoukounmpo. San Antonio doesn't have many good on-ball defenders on this team, and will rely on solid team defense to stop the Bucks from getting to the rim at will. Guys like Green will have to be active to stop any pick-and-roll action, and will have to be able to get help from the midline whenever Parker posts up.