Get your media bingo boards ready!
A day before beginning practices at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, the Milwaukee Bucks officially kicked off training camp on Monday with their annual media day festivities, offering players, coaches, and owners a chance to regale us with platitudes, cliches and an occasional nugget of insight. If you haven’t already, check out the highlights from our live coverage here.
We then recorded a two-part bingo-style podcast Monday night to discuss what we thought was particularly noteworthy, splicing in the best live soundbites from the day to complement our usual rambling observations. ENJOY:
The starters...for now. Jason Kidd could have played it safe on Monday, deflecting discussions about his starting five with the usual guys-will-compete-yada-yada-yada. Instead he said what many of us have been thinking all summer -- that Miles Plumlee just seems to fit better with the starters. Via Matt Velasquez at the Journal-Sentinel:
"We'll probably start off with looking at the second half of the season by looking at Michael (Carter-Williams) and Greg (Monroe) coming off the bench," Kidd said at the team's media day on Monday at the Cousins Center. "We won't make that decision until later in the week. We'll go through training camp, we'll have them start, we'll have them come off the bench, we're going to look at a lot of different combinations. I think we liked the way that it ended last year with Miles (Plumlee) starting. It gave us some firepower off the bench and made us deeper."
Later during player availability, Greg Monroe seemed caught off-guard by the suggestion that he might be coming off the bench — at least early in camp -- though MCW seemed far more accepting and upbeat of whatever role he might have to take. Maybe that’s the difference between having just signed a $50 million contract and being a $3 million player in the last year of his rookie deal, eh?
Vaughn gets his shot. Fans of the early ‘90s Brewers may recall the “Vaughn’s Valley” section of the left field bleachers at County Stadium — a target for home run-hitting left fielder Greg Vaughn. Alas, it took on a far more negative connotation for Rashad Vaughn during his rookie year in Milwaukee, as the 19-year-old first round pick sunk to depths rarely seen in NBA rookie annals. Yet despite shooting just 30.5% from the field and generally struggling to assert himself in any phase of the game, the now-20-year-old could be the main beneficiary of Khris Middleton’s brutal hamstring injury. According to Kidd he’ll work with the first unit in team’s first practice, though his ability to win the starting gig on opening night remains an open questions. Vaughn had his moments last October as well — he scored a team-high 20 points in 35 minutes in his preseason debut last year — but he’ll need to make it stick to avoid being passed over by the likes of Malcolm Brogdon and Jason Terry.
Attack of the 7-foot point guard? Giannis Antetokounmpo’s physical dimensions have long been a source of fascination, and on Monday he joked that he was now 6’11.5”, perhaps seven feet in shoes, and “7’2” in heels.” Maybe one of these years he’ll stop growing?