Despite another big early lead and promising nights from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, the Bucks lost 102-78 to the Pistons in their fifth preseason game on Monday night. Shortly after the game, Frank and I got together to discuss what we saw at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Our conversation touched on:
How great was the Bucks’ first half? The Pistons were turning the ball over regularly in the first half. The Bucks were taking advantage of those turnovers and looking fantastic. The game was uptempo and the Pistons struggled to contain Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Mirza Teletovic, Miles Plumlee and Matthew Dellavedova rounded out the Bucks’ starting lineup and looked tough to stop offensively as Plumlee was able to draw defenders to the middle on his dives to the rim and Teletovic and Dellavedova spotted up from the outside. Simply, the Bucks looked like a good NBA team and that was comforting to see.
How will teams without elite wing defenders attempt to cover Antetokounmpo? Seriously. How will they attempt to cover him? It seems hopeless.
Why can’t the Bucks stop teams from going on insane runs? Things went poorly for the Bucks in the second half as they surrendered their lead and allowed the Pacers to go on a wildly lopsided run. It was the third time this preseason the Bucks allowed their opponents to go on a massive run, but this time a large portion of the run came against the starters. Other nights, those runs came as either the bench or deep bench units were on the floor. In Detroit, it was the starters. Why haven’t the Bucks been able to stop these runs during the preseason? Is it an anemic offense? An incapable defense? Poor coaching? Players losing focus?
Who is Thon Maker? In 68 preseason minutes, Maker has just eight rebounds, one steal, and one block. Outside of his preseason debut in Madison against the Mavericks, he has struggled to find any rhythm or find a way to make an impact. Has your opinion of him changed because of the preseason?