In a game that largely felt like a varsity/JV scrimmage, the Bucks had held a solid lead against the Bulls until completely shutting down in the fourth quarter, and Milwaukee fell to Chicago with a final score of 107-86.
Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo were the Bucks main contributors, scoring 21 and 14 (respectively), and both pulling down 6 rebounds and dishing 4 assists. Matthew Dellavedova also logged 9 points/8 assists, and after that the box score starts to get scarce.
After a so-so start, the Bucks finally started looking like they were playing against mostly second-stringers in the first , with two Brogdon treys (his only buckets all night), a plethora of Giannis and Jabari buckets (more on that later), and Michael Beasley doing what Beas does best (
pass shoot the ball, scoring 7 points in 7 minutes!) all leading the team to a 32-19 lead. The party kept rocking in the second, where the Bucks turned their transition game dials up to a 10 and simply did not relent, despite the Bulls knocking down a fair number of threes.
The Bucks continued to pressure their opponent along the entire length of the court, with the full-court press making more than a few token appearances during the evening. The Bulls were generally able to pass out of the pressure, but the additional time did affect how comfortable they were running their offensive sets.
Milwaukee provided an extended look at the mythical Giannis/Jabari/Teletovic trio in the second quarter, and whether they were flanked by one of Jason Terry, Matthew Dellavedova, or Malcolm Brogdon, it seemed like the offensive end of the court simply had more space for Giannis and Jabari to do what they do best in the half-court, which contributed to the Bucks’ impressive offensive output, closing the half with a 60-43 lead. More of this, please.
The third quarter was very much dominated by Jabari Parker, who had more than a few highlights (not to mention a couple near-misses), but the Bulls (led by Doug McDermott and Isaiah Canaan) were able to shoot their way back to a 79-70 deficit. Then things turned...ugly...in the fourth quarter. Here, before we get into it, look at these:
Ok, now savor it...savor it...keep savoring! Alright, let’s ruin those good vibes.
With Jason Kidd deciding to sit Giannis and Jabari, the Bulls quickly erased the point disparity and tie the game at 81-81, after a 12-2 run that lasted a shade over three minutes. Milwaukee’s offense had completely stalled out without either of their star wings, as the spacing shrank and tempo stuttered, and the Bucks scored a whopping three points in the first 9 minutes of the fourth. That 12-2 run I mentioned earlier? It was essentially a 37-7 run that lasted all 12 minutes.
Surprisingly, one Buck that did not play significant minutes in this preseason game was the team’s youngest player: Thon Maker saw some floor time in the second quarter and eventually re-entered in the fourth, and as many may have expected, he was energetic but sloppy. Eric and Frank have been adamant about seeing more Thon minutes, especially on a night where Greg Monroe was off-duty. Why Thon didn’t take the floor until so late in the second half is a mystery that I don’t know the answer to, but I do know that Maker didn’t look good for the minutes he did receive. At all.
All in all, this game had everything a Bucks fan can hope for. Giannis did Giannis things, Jabari did Jabari things, and some of the other Milwaukee players had nice contributions until suffering a massive collapse and dropping the game. It’s preseason fun!
Next up, the Bucks travel to Detroit and take on the Pistons on Monday, October 17th.
Thoughts and Tidbits: coming soon!