The Bucks lost their last four games in Las Vegas, their three key young players each shot horribly, and not a single thing of note happened for the franchise off the court in the meantime.
And you know what? All of that is totally fine.
Listen below as Eric Nehm and I kick off a series of podcasts this week answering listener questions, beginning with a look at how Thon Maker's All-Vegas Second Team performance stacks up against his rookie peers and how Rashad Vaughn may fit into the Bucks' future.
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Ultimately, the 2016 Vegas Bucks will be remembered for Maker's quick start and generally competent performance, which was precisely what Bucks fans were hoping to see. While his shot selection was generally poor (think "lunch buffet at the Golden Nugget" bad), Maker redeemed himself by displaying a unique combination of length, mobility, motor (9.6 rpg) and shooting touch (79% from the line, 5/11 from three over his final three games). So while it's probably not wise to spend the next three months assuming that Maker will play a prominent role in the Bucks' 2016/17 rotation, we've seen enough to believe Maker has the tools and mental makeup to eventually become a solid and potentially even dynamic NBA big man. Some stats to consider:
Some other notes to consider:
Here's an updated look at how players selected in the 1st round of the 2016 Draft have fared in the Summer Leagues. pic.twitter.com/7bqoTaJel0— Synergy Sports Tech (@SynergySST) July 17, 2016
As poorly as Maker shot the ball overall (37.7%), it's worth pointing out he clearly wasn't alone; in fact, the only first round pick who used more possessions per game while posting a better points/possession figure was Kris Dunn.
Of players who averaged more than 4 APG in #LVSL, none were nearly as efficient as Malcolm Brogdon #NBASummer #Bucks pic.twitter.com/Pu5XUg3XlY— Tim Wray (@TRW24) July 18, 2016
We discussed Brogdon's impressive ball control on Friday's podcast (see below), but it's worth reiterating how comfortable he looked on the ball after playing mostly as a shooting guard in college. Other than Khris Middleton starting at the two, the Bucks' backcourt rotation is completely up in the air right now, so Brogdon's ability to handle it and defend both spots could give him a leg up on the likes of Rashad Vaughn and Tyler Ennis. What's not clear is if Brogdon will prove a capable three-point threat; his college numbers suggest he should be, but his release is a little wonky and he was coming up well short throughout the week in Vegas. Hopefully that's just a product of nerves and small sample size, but it's difficult to see him being a consistent rotation guy in the NBA without a consistent jumper.
We'll have more podcasts answering listener questions coming out the rest of this week, and in case you missed either of our first two podcasts on Thursday and Friday, check them out below. As always, we appreciate feedback and your (five star!) reviews on iTunes, which have helped us climb to #29 on the iTunes sports podcasts as of last night. Thanks for listening!