Milwaukee’s Summer League opener left an ample amount to be desired, as they swandived into a rather ungraceful 82-53 defeat. Takeaways from the game were few and far between, besides the fact a roster full of at least four NBA players couldn’t best a team with one. Gary Payton II flashed a bit of his defensive acumen and passing ability, but Thon looked annoyingly overmatched against a D-Leaguer in Edy Tavares. That’s all in the past though at this point. Summer League is, after all, just a testing ground so let’s hope chalking it up to some semblance of jitters may help this squad perform more admirably against Brooklyn today.
Bucks Player to Watch: Thon Maker
Maker, coming off his promising playoff performance against Toronto, seemed primed to deliver a more dominating Summer League season in his second trip to Vegas. Unfortunately, his first game was a resounding thud, plagued by foul trouble and whispers about whether he could reach the fabled 10-foul limit he hit last year. He got bullied on the boards, worked like a punching bag on the block by Tavares and beyond a three he hit to open the game, was off the mark shooting. The coaching staff clearly wants him to try and expand him repertoire a bit here, as he was dribbling in the open court and attempting step-back jumpers. Both of those are fine, this is the ideal place to do so, but it would feel a lot more comfortable if that came within the cushion of him performing adequately at the base skills we’re expecting from him next season, namely rim protection and 3-point shooting.
Nets Player to Watch: Caris LeVert
The former Michigan guard fell in last year’s draft after injuring his foot, and the Nets seemed to reach a bit selecting him at 22. However, the 6’7” swingman flashed some of the skills that had people projecting him as a potential lottery pick, and the Nets may’ve at least found a bit of quartz in the rough. LeVert will be a good matchup for Milwaukee’s backcourt defenders, and I’m hoping Sterling Brown gets a crack at him to get a better idea of how Brown may stack up defensively this upcoming season.
Broadcast and predicted lineup information is below.