Preseason can provide plenty of dud-worthy basketball, and that’s exactly what we got tonight as the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers 86-104. Milwaukee turned the ball over aplenty to start the game, and while they ended the first half with just six turnovers, their offense was sloppy enough that possessions may as well have ended in turnovers. They stabilized as the second quarter winded down and the competency of Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon returned to the court, but they went into halftime trailing the Pacers by 8. There was no redemption in the second half either despite Jason Kidd sticking with the first half starters for a smidge. Instead, Milwaukee fell behind even further, going into the fourth quarter needing a miracle to come back and failing to find much of anything.
Giannis completed the pregame shootaround but didn’t appear in tonight’s game. Neither did Thon Maker who was out with his ankle injury. We still don’t know when Giannis will first appear, although Bill Plaschke noted that Jason Kidd said if Giannis asked him to find some time for him he would’ve. At this point it’s entirely up to Giannis when he returns, which is obviously as it should be following his father’s passing.
Beyond Giannis, your Bucks standouts were the typical culprits. Middleton wound up with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 20 minutes while Brogdon ended with 5 points, 3 assists and a rebound in his 19 minutes before giving way to Kendall Marshall. D.J. Wilson ended with a very respectable 6 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists too. Gary Payton II did much of his usual thing, sans hitting a 3-pointer at one point, but he did finish with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and nearly cracked Domantas Sabonis in half with this dunk attempt.
GPII almost ended Domantas Sabonis in the battle of NBA sons pic.twitter.com/s2Wdld60w6— Behind the Buck Pass (@BehindTheBucks) October 5, 2017
Indiana’s new look team didn’t feature too many performances worth remembering, but Myles Turner certainly looked the part of their new cornerstone by deterring Greg Monroe repeatedly at the rim and ending with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Victor Oladipo played admirably, but rather inefficiently to end with 15 points on 6-15 shooting and 4 assists.
Stat That Stood Out
Milwaukee had 20 turnovers compared to just 12 for Indiana. Milwaukee showed little care for the ball all night long, throwing it repeatedly to Pacers defenders in their halfcourt sets. Beyond missing some easy looks, the turnovers only added to the ineptitude that was tonight’s preseason performance. Those TO’s led to 18 points for the Pacers on the other end too. There were plenty of other reasons Milwaukee lost tonight, but turnovers were a considerable part of their dismal game.