After months of waiting, Bucks basketball is back. Now, there were summer league games and trade rumors and pro-am footage, but there wasn’t really NBA basketball. It’s still debatable if preseason basketball is actually NBA basketball (and even more debatable if Sunday’s pickup game was actually NBA basketball), but it will do for now.
In today’s Locked on Bucks podcast, Frank and I discussed what we took away from Sunday’s scrimmage including:
- The roles of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Everyone knows that the Bucks’ success this season lays at the feet of their two young stars. If that is to be the case, then it would be good to see Antetokounmpo maintain the same playmaking responsibility he saw after the All-Star Break last season and Parker’s playmaking duties expand. In the scrimmage, we were given a sneak peek at how that might look this season and pondered how to most effectively ramp up Parker’s playmaking.
- Everybody shooting threes! There was a beautiful sequence in the scrimmage where Parker hit a three from the left corner and Antetokounmpo answered by dribbling the ball down the floor and pulling up for a top of the key three five seconds later. It was everything Bucks fans have been dreaming of for the last two years, but it also occurred in a pickup game, so it might not actually be indicative of the way either player plays this season. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Rashad Vaughn will (not) be the Bucks’ starting shooting guard in a month. Vaughn’s hold on a position in the starting lineup seems tenuous at best. He played poorly in 1,001 minutes last season and did little to impress during the scrimmage. Frank thinks that means he will lose the starting job pretty quickly. My gut isn’t quite as sure.
- Michael Beasley is exactly who you think he is. I’m not sure there is another NBA player who can put up so many shots so quickly. If he’s even a little bit open, a shot is going up.
After discussing the scrimmage, we took a little time to preview the Bucks’ first preseason game against the Bulls. Preseason games are delightful teases of NBA basketball, but it is important to remember that they are little more than just that. Last preseason, Chris Copeland averaged just under 25 minutes per game on his way to being the Bucks’ second most used player behind Antetokounmpo. Greg Monroe was hitting cutters on back door cuts. The Bucks shot nearly 21 threes per game. In short, it was not very indicative of what occurred in the regular season.
So, enjoy tonight!
Bucks basketball is back and that’s wonderful! Just remember that the product on the floor might not look anything like what you see once the games actually count.