NFL (read: Packer) season is upon us, so it's only fair that we begin the day with a mention of Thon Maker's visit to the Wisconsin-Akron football game on Saturday. Maker's Madison stop was part of his state-wide tour over the past couple days, one that saw Maker leading a Bucks delegation on a whirlwind tour of schools, county fairs, racetracks and other stops all over the Western part of the state. Check out Bucks.com for more.
Matthew Dellavedova gets engaged | Twitter
Matthew Dellavedova got his championship ring as a member of the Cavaliers in July. Fast forward a few months and his college sweetheart Anna Schroeder now has her own special ring:
Congrats Anna and Delly!
Bucks ready for return to the playoffs | NBA.com
Our "official" season preview will be dropping on October 5, but expect plenty of other takes to be dropping over the next month. That also means it's time to start formulating litmus tests for whether your trust a preview writer gets the Bucks. My favorite: people who refer to Giannis playing point guard as meaning he'll also defend point guards, or people who think the Bucks are still building around Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams (rare, but occasionally still referenced).
In this case, Shaun Powell's take for NBA.com seems to come off a a bit too incredulous about the Bucks' fall from playoff contention a year ago; granted, no one really thought the Bucks would be 33-win bad, but in hindsight we shouldn't have expected inevitable improvement from a super-young team that relied mostly on defense and lost two key veteran defenders and locker room guys in Jared Dudley and Zaza Pachulia.
Wide-open 3s and ranking how each NBA team fared at making defenses pay | CBSSports.com
The Bucks weren't the worst open three point shooters in the league (21st, woot!), but they did shoot the fewest open threes in basketball and Giannis Antetokounmpo was among the league's worst when open (24.3%, somehow lower than his overall 25.7%). Still, thing should get better...right? Zach Harper breaks it down:
We don't know if the Greek Freak will improve as a shooter, but they did add Mirza Teletovic (45.1 percent on 102 attempts) and Matthew Dellavedova (44.9 percent on 118 attempts) in free agency. The Bucks generating higher quality shots will also help them knock these down with greater frequency and not just rely on Middleton.
Yet despite those improvement, the Bucks at this point can only claim to have four proven shooters who might actually play minutes this season: Middleton, Teletovic, Dellavedova and Jason Terry (Steve Novak would certainly count as well, but I just don't see him playing with any regularity).
Beyond that it's a whole bunch of question marks. Maybe Rashad Vaughn and Malcolm Brogdon can become as dangerous shooters in the NBA as they were in college. Maybe Giannis and Jabari Parker become vaguely legit threats this season. But if none of those question marks are answered affirmatively, the Bucks' offense will remain as reliant as ever on their athleticism and cutting to create easy looks -- a formula that worked well for stretches last spring but doesn't typically add up to a high-powered offense in aggregate.
Teletovic, Bosnia lose to Russia in Euro qualifier | FIBA.com
Russia clinched a trip to the 2017 European Championships thanks to a 78-67 win over Mirza Teletovic (23 points, 5/16 threes) and Bosnia on Sunday. Teletovic has struggled with his shot in three qualifying games this month, scoring 17.5 points per game but hitting just 24% overall and 26% from deep (state here). They next face Sweden on Wednesday.