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Brew Hoop Season Review: Michael Beasley, Mirza Teletovic, Spencer Hawes

How did the strange brew that made up Milwaukee’s backup frontcourt fare this year?

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We examined the Bucks’ primo players yesterday, taking a look at the shortened seasons of Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker, as well as the dynamo year from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Today, we turn our sights further down the bench to look at the topsy-turvy power forwards who backed up Giannis this year: Mirza Teletovic and Michael Beasley. And we’re throwing in Spencer Hawes for good measure, because why the hell not. Plus not having three players per day would just wind up bothering me more. Anyway, here it is:

Michael Beasley

Beasley Season Stats

Michael Beasley MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS/G
Michael Beasley MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS/G
Per Game 16.7 3.9 7.2 0.533 0.3 0.8 0.419 3.5 6.5 0.547 0.556 1.4 1.9 0.743 0.7 2.7 3.4 0.9 0.5 0.5 1.2 1.6 9.4
Per 36 935 8.3 15.6 0.533 0.7 1.7 0.419 7.6 13.9 0.547 0.556 3 4 0.743 1.5 5.9 7.4 2 1.1 1 2.5 3.5 20.3
Advanced G PER TS% 3PAr FTr ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% OWS DWS WS WS/48 OBPM DBPM BPM VORP
56 17.9 0.585 0.106 0.259 5 18.9 12 9.9 1.5 2.5 12.8 25.2 0.8 1 1.8 0.094 -1.7 -1.1 -2.8 -0.2

Synopsis:

Beasley’s surprising arrival came with some worry over his chucking and ball-stopping tendencies. However, he proved a rather integral bench piece that Kidd could use interchangeably with Teletovic depending on who tickled his fancy that night. Both offered different skill sets, and Beasley showed many of the isolation scoring abilites that had scouts drooling when he came out of college. No defender was too intimidating for Beas, and he was more than willing to jack up contested midrange jumpers or weave his way to the hoop.

He was prone to defensive lapses throughout the season though, and generally never looked comfortable within the scheme. Part of that is effort, part of it was certainly mental errors. He shot 41.9% on the small amount of 3-pointers he did shoot though, and broke up stagnant offensive sets if necessary. Much like Beasley’s career, his season felt like a continual string of odd decisions that’s somehow worked out in the end.

Staff Grades

Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
7.48 2.88 6.32 3.06 6.72

Adam: I panned this trade at the time, but Beasley was a reliable offensive threat all season who hijacked possessions at acceptable times. His defense was sporadic (and that’s probably being kind), but he was a proper complement to Monroe as a bench scorer who can fill it up.

Mitchell: Beasley gets you some buckets, and he showed some unexpected signs of defensive life. As a bench scorer, he can be helpful to a team, but I have no idea what sorts of minutes expectations he has going forward. If he is OK with 12-15 minutes per game, with long stretches of inactivity, then I’d negotiate a return. If he wants more than that, I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Gabe: A folk legend when he was with the Shanghai Sharks, and a folk legend when he was a Milwaukee Buck. I’ll admit, I was definitely shocked by the contributions Beasley put forth this season. He would frequently be a spark off the bench but when you look towards next season, it’s pretty tough to find a scenario in which he stays a Buck. If the Bucks can pad a deal that leans in their favor with the money, then yes, I’d do it. Unfortunately, my crystal ball has him signing elsewhere.

Mirza Teletovic

Teletovic Season Stats

Mirza Teletovic MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS/G
Mirza Teletovic MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS/G
Per Game 16.2 2.2 6 0.373 1.5 4.4 0.341 0.7 1.6 0.46 0.498 0.5 0.6 0.778 0.2 2.2 2.3 0.7 0.2 0.2 0.5 1.6 6.4
Per 36 1133 5 13.3 0.373 3.3 9.7 0.341 1.7 3.6 0.46 0.498 1.1 1.4 0.778 0.3 4.8 5.1 1.5 0.4 0.4 1.2 3.5 14.3
Advanced G PER TS% 3PAr FTr ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% OWS DWS WS WS/48 OBPM DBPM BPM VORP
70 8.8 0.515 0.73 0.108 1.1 15.4 8.3 6.4 0.5 1 7.8 19.1 -0.1 0.7 0.6 0.025 -1.5 -3.4 -4.9 -0.8

Synopsis:

Mirza Teletovic was brought in to shoot 3-pointers, and shoot 3-pointers he did. 73% of his shots were threes this year, the highest rate of his career, and that almost single-handedly helped Milwaukee not fall to the basement of 3-point attempt teams this season. Unfortunately, he only hit at a 34.1% clip after knocking down 39.3% last year. Peculiarly, the shots Mirza Teletovic took that weren’t threes seemed to feature an inordinate amount of head-down bull rushes to the basket.

Those sequences rarely ended in anything but despair, as did any time Teletovic found himself on the block defensively. His limited foot speed didn’t match Milwaukee’s scheme, but the Bucks flat out played better while he was on the court, finishing +74 throughout the season. His 3-point propensity provided planet-like gravity and while he wasn’t matched up with Giannis as much as some would like, Teletovic was basically what he was billed as.

Staff Grades

Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
5.84 3.9 2.44 6.94 4.04

Adam: John Hammond mentioned that Teletovic said in his exit interviews that he struggled his first year in Brooklyn, and came back and played better his second year, implying he would do the same for this Bucks team. I believe that, particularly because his shooting has fluctuated year-to-year. His gravity remained valuable despite his dip in performance this year.

Mitchell: Shooters shoot, and Mirza is a shooter. He had an up-and-down year (more down than up, I’m afraid), and we’re hoping that he plays better next season. We also hope that he plays more when Giannis is on the court, to pull defenders away from the Greek’s drives, even on Telly’s cold shooting nights.

Gabe: Maybe we expected too much out of Mirza, but outside of the #MirzaOnESPN games where one 3-pointer would pave the path for three more, it was somewhat of an empty performance on the season from Teletovic. At times, it looked like he’d just chuck the ball up, even with a hand in his face. I agree with Mitchell in the fact that he’ll be more lethal if he and Giannis boost their chemistry on the drive-and-dish facet of the playbook. If so, that could be something fun.

Spencer Hawes

Hawes Season Stats

Spencer Hawes MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS/G
Spencer Hawes MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS/G
Per Game 9 1.6 3.1 0.508 0.5 1.4 0.346 1.1 1.7 0.636 0.585 0.7 0.9 0.778 0.3 2.1 2.4 1 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.8 4.4
Per 36 171 6.3 12.4 0.508 1.9 5.5 0.346 4.4 6.9 0.636 0.585 2.9 3.8 0.778 1.3 8.2 9.5 4 0.4 0.8 1.9 3.4 17.5
Advanced G PER TS% 3PAr FTr ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% OWS DWS WS WS/48 OBPM DBPM BPM VORP
19 18.6 0.62 0.441 0.305 4.1 26.3 15.3 17.7 0.6 2.1 11.9 20.3 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.16 1 -1 0 0.1

Synopsis:

Hawes came as a salary matching stipulation in the Miles Plumlee trade with Charlotte before the trade deadline. The presumption was he may not even play, instead serving out the year on the bench playing cat’s cradle with Vaughn and debating whether to exercise his player option next year. Instead, an injury to Henson (and general malaise from Henson) forced Hawes into action with Kidd preserving Thon Maker like a precious artifact.

Hawes played his role neatly, even flashing some magician finishes at time, but wasn’t useful beyond his presence as a pick-and-pop big. He hit threes at just 34.6%, but his presence still helped create some space in the pick-and-roll. Hawes remained a defensive sieve though, offering little to no rim protection and wasn’t particularly nimble within the Bucks’ aggressive scheme. He got played off the floor in the playoffs when Kidd was willing to finally give Thon Maker more run.

Staff Grades

Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
Offense Defense Improvement Fit Going Forward Overall Season
3.9 2.95 3.8 2.8 4.25

Adam: Eh, he did some stuff. He hit some threes. Philadelphia booed him whenever he stepped on the court. His long hair always looked tamed, and he cost much less than Miles Plumlee. He’s a third big at this point, nothing more.

Mitchell: He’s a third big, but he’s got some legitimate skills! He can finish at the rim, he can pass, he can shoot a little bit, and while he’s an unexciting defender, I don’t fear the Bucks’ defensive rating results when he’s on the floor. I can think of worse third-stringers to soak up minutes and have the odd hot streak.

Gabe: A recurring guest on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast, Spencer Hawes played better (and for cheaper) than Miles Plumlee. My goodness, I still can’t get over how Hammond fleeced Charlotte. But he did a little bit of everything. He could tally the assists, connect from deep, and was an average defender. His worst performance was probably Game 2 in Toronto, but I won’t let that sink my opinion of what he brought to the table.

Riley: If it wasn't for Hawes, there's a good chance we'd still have Miles Plumlee and his albatross contract still on the books. Even if he contributes nothing next season in exchange for $6 million, I'll be ecstatic.