The dream of an undefeated Summer League season came to an end Sunday when the Milwaukee Bucks fell to the D-League Select team 91-86, but there was still reason for excitement. Although the game will go down as a loss, the three most important players on Milwaukee's SL roster--Thon Maker, Rashad Vaughn, and Malcolm Brogdon--all handled themselves well. Vaughn shook off a nasty opening game in Vegas to post a game-high 24 points on 10-18 shooting (3-6 3PT), looking much more like the explosive volume scorer he was foretold to be coming out of UNLV.
Thon Maker delivered another standout performance, minus a few notable blemishes. Maker tallied 17 points and 17 rebounds for his second straight double-double, and even hit a three-pointer for good measure. Maker was dominant on the defensive glass, grabbing 13 such rebounds as the Bucks gave up just five offensive boards the entire game.
Maker's strengths were on display much the same as in his opener versus Cleveland: perimeter defense in the pick and roll, rebounding, shot-blocking. But the experienced D-League roster did a much better job exploiting his weaknesses, notably his post defense and foul propensity. Maker finished with six personal fouls in about 32 minutes, badgered by bigger, stronger opponents near the basket and late rotations alike. I frequently lament how ubiquitous the "needs to add strength" label is among draft prospects, but it's unequivocally true in Maker's case.
Vaughn showed up in a big way, nice to see after his rough opener on Friday. Though much of the difference is simply better luck on his jumpers, Vaughn was more effective off the dribble as well. He also grabbed six rebounds and had four assists.
Malcolm Brogdon defies explanation, because I literally don't know what he did to accumulate 14 points and 4 assists. Although he's nondescript as advertised, he's not an altogether incapable scorer. Leveraging his strength and size well, Brogdon was able to create his own shot in the halfcourt and hit an even 50% of his attempts. He also committed just one turnover in 30 minutes of action.
A fun aside: Team trends are pretty meaningless in Summer League, since this group of players will never again be assembled once this string of games comes to a close. But the Bucks, it would appear, have managed to compile what I have to imagine is one of the most foul-happy squads in Summer League history. After sending the Cavaliers to the line 42 times on Friday, the Bucks gave up 39 more free-throw attempts on Sunday. It was easily the most lopsided part of the game, and probably the one thing that cost them the victory.