A open-scrimmage is worth two closed practices in the bush, or something.
This past weekend's “Green and Cream Scrimmage” won't be described as memorable, but there were some informative takeaways. First and foremost, the offensive system will be something resembling a modern NBA system. The ball movement was purposeful and designed to encourage deferring a good shot to a teammate with a chance for a better shot. Everyone in the arena seemed to get a chance to take a three, resulting in numerous John Henson catch-and-shoot corner jumpers and a bevy of bloopers with fans competing in a post-game shootout with players. I'm not sure where the team's three-point attempt rate will rank league-wide, but a 25th place finish is most certainly not in the cards.
Besides prolific perimeter offense, it's difficult to determine what else is a trend and what was a flash in the pan. Will Donte DiVincenzo have as green a light during the season as he did last Saturday? Was Christian Wood's dominance further evidence of a player finally growing into his own? What kind of damage will Giannis Antetokounmpo be able to wreck in what looks to be a four-to-five out approach?
We'll need preseason and much of the early regular season to answer those questions, but for the first time in a long time we're searching for welcome unknowns instead of wondering just how antiquated the team will play.
Khris Middleton says team looked ‘like fools’ by making preseason predictions in 2017 (Clutch Points)
While Khris is undoubtedly right that the team looked a little silly talking about finally breaking through last year, I can't fully fault him. There have been some changes to the roster, but the squad in place now is largely the same guys as a year ago. The key difference? No visible bench anchor wrapped around their ankles putting them behind the eight-ball before the game even began.
It may take time for Mike Budenholzer's philosophy to fully take root so don't get too frustrated if Milwaukee isn't a world-beater the first two to three months of the year. Still, it's okay to dream about 50 wins; it's the least we could expect.
This is mostly a positive puff-piece about the season to come, but it's always a nice reminder to think of how far things have progressed from the doldrums of even six seasons ago. The team's future was at least relatively in doubt, the roster featured a Brandon Jennings-Monta Ellis tandem aided by a JJ Redick cameo, and Giannis was but a dream.
What a difference time can make, eh?
And now time for a decidedly less positive article.
At this point I no longer even worry about Giannis’s next contract. We're three years removed from that fateful offseason, the Bucks can still offer him stupid-level money no other team could match, and if the team is still unable to offer a solid chance at meaningful competition by then I won't even blame him much if he chooses to head elsewhere.
Anyways, shoutout to these “sources” for hiding behind anonymity while taking speculative potshots. Show yourselves, cowards!
Some former-Buck relevant news: Mirza Teletovic is hanging up his shoes and officially leaving his playing days behind him.
I will put in a disclaimer that I'm unsure what this means for Milwaukee's contract obligations with Teletovic. Some speculation goes along the lines of the medical retirement waiver period still being in effect until November (reason being ensuring his retirement is legitimate and not an attempt to get out of his current contract), otherwise the musings have been quiet.
As to the news of his becoming president of the Bosnian Basketball Federation, “Life without basketball for me isn’t a life I enjoy. I’m honored to be the here. It’s time to bring back BiH basketball to where it belongs.”
Stay cool, Mirza.
Khris Middleton: Family, Basketball and Waffle House
From the Social Media Realm
This may be the greatest Bucks-centric meme I've ever seen:
This, too, was beyond hilarious:
After hearing @KidCutUp's dope remix of the Bucks' Green and Growing anthem during Bucks' media day, I dug up the 2014 video and let's just say It starts with a Jeff Adrien pass for a John Henson dunk and never looks back https://t.co/AQoGOmJhlb— Frank (@fmaddenNBA) September 25, 2018
Malcolm Brogdon mentioned he’s been working a bunch with the starters alongside Eric Bledsoe in the backcourt during Bucks training camp. It’s something he’s done in the past and is a position he’s comfortable with as a combo guard.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) September 27, 2018
Also, in case you didn't believe me about that whole “John Henson taking threes” thing:
John Henson taking turns working on corner 3’s with Malcolm Brogdon. pic.twitter.com/ZSUh1BBpvp— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) September 26, 2018
Those green uniforms would look quite slimming on Jimmy:
Presented completely without comment:
Giannis laughing thinking about all the times he'll get to dunk on Aron Baynes this year:
Ahhhh, finally, I can do a bit of preseason stretching and start predicting week-to-week results. Since the games don't matter and defense will be completely optional I will allow myself to make mistakes as we go along.
We've got two games this week: Things begin with a visit from the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday and end on Sunday in Iowa of all godforsaken places against the Minnesota Timberwolves. If only because of a deep desire to “show” Jabari Parker what he's missing getting paid $20 million in Chicago, the Bucks will assuredly take their first home game and then drop their second game against a surprisingly spirited TWolves team.
Preseason basketball ain't real basketball, but I'll take it!