Ah, nothing says summer quite like a relatively bland, disappointing Summer League performance by the Milwaukee Bucks and today certainly didn’t disappoint. Falling to a Cavaliers squad 82-53 whose only two prominent players were Kay Felder and Edy Tavares, basically both D-League players, is rather embarrassing even if the game was meaningless. There weren’t a great number of highlights either, and the stat lines were depressing too. Yet we trudge on because at least Bucks basketball is somewhat back, and Thon Maker had just 4 points on 1-8 shooting, 5 rebounds and a depressing 6 fouls, D.J. Wilson went 4-13 with 11 points and five rebounds in his debut, while Gary Payton II probably played the best two-way game on the team, ending with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a whopping 5 steals. Overall, Milwaukee shot just 29.9% overall and only 15.4% from three, going 4-26.
D.J. Wilson got the Bucks on the board to start the game, showing off a nifty midrange pull-up, and Thon followed that up with a smooth-looking three. Unfortunately, those plays were bookended by blocked Rashad Vaughn shots, but so is the way of the world. The starters were pulled with around four left in the first, and the scrubs did their job which also included Sterling Brown, who wasn’t supposed to play until he had a contract in place with Milwaukee. I’ll take having at least one scrub I can be invested in though. The Bucks trailed 22-14 after one following a buzzer-beating jumper by the Cavs.
Bronson Koenig got his first action to start the second quarter after Travis Trice ended the first, and promptly airballed his first shot from the corner. The Bucks continued to hemorrhage points to the bereft Cavs roster, but Thon tried to provide some spark by grabbing a rebound and attempting to go coast-to-coast and settling for free throws. Milwaukee also went small for the final minute or so of the half, putting D.J. Wilson in at center to counter what was a quite diminutive Cavalier lineup. Unfortunately, almost nothing Milwaukee did could be qualified as “successful” and they entered half trailing 43-24 and leaving my mind hazy trying to recall anything of merit. It wasn’t exactly a stellar shooting half either. Summer League is here!
Milwaukee is 1 for 12 on 3's. Thon Maker made the team's first trey then the Bucks missed 11 in a row. https://t.co/yMCb157cOW— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) July 7, 2017
The second half almost opened with deja vu, as another Vaughn jumper was basically blocked after an Upshaw three banked so hard the rim seemed to audibly groan. After going down by 27, finally there was a reason to shut our yawning mouths as Gary Payton II got a steal and dished to D.J. Wilson for an emphatic one-handed slam.
Wilson touched home a follow-up off an ill-fated Maker hook shot soon afterwards, prompting what was probably a quite unnecessary timeout by the Cavaliers considering they still led by 22. Another mini Bucks run, prompted by some sloppy ball handling by the Cavs and nifty passing from their backcourt, sliced the lead to 12. A pull-up jumper from Koenig made it 10 for the first points of his Bucks career, but a short Cavs sprint put Milwaukee back behind by 19 after three.
Milwaukee couldn’t put a dent in the lead in the fourth quarter, and sent their scrub squad in with five minutes left as the game torpedoed to yet another Bucks Summer league loss 82-53.
Milwaukee plays next on Sunday at 5:00 PM against the Brooklyn Nets.