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Rapid Recap: Bucks 116, Bulls 82

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The Bucks pummeled the visiting Chicago Bulls in their preseason opener.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks-Media Day Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA T

Everyone’s favorite is back, preseason basketball, baby! The Milwaukee Bucks opened up their debut in the beautiful Fiserv Forum with a 116-82 throttling of the visiting Chicago Bulls.

Albeit a preseason tilt, Milwaukee’s new system implemented under new head coach Mike Budenholzer looked fluid and effective, much like the teams he coached in Atlanta. From the onset, the Bucks were firing away offensively and clicking on all cylinders. The Bucks raced out to a 20-point halftime lead, highlighted by the performance of point guard Eric Bledsoe who finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists in only 21 minutes. His heave at the end of the first half summarized how hot the Bucks were offensively.

Giannis was doing Giannis things, of course.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists (versus 1 turnover) in only 22 minutes of action. Even when he’s not trying his hardest, Giannis is still the best player on the floor. He’s incredible. He did show rust at the free throw line, though, hitting only 4-10 free throws. Maybe we’re just nitpicking at this point, but it bears watching.

Fresh off of a white-hot postseason, Khris Middleton did not miss a beat. He scored 15 points on 5-8 shooting, including 3-4 from downtown. Naturally, he finished with a team-high plus-39 tonight. It will be exciting to see how his game progresses under an actual head coach, fun stuff indeed!

Brook Lopez chipped in 6 points and 4 rebounds in 15 minutes, and even baptized Bulls forward Jabari Parker. Talk about a rude welcome.

In Parker’s return to Milwaukee, he was nearly invisible. He finished with 2 points on 1-12 shooting in 19 minutes (he hit his first shot), he also finished minus-26. Yikes.

The Bucks got contributions from up and down the board, and it was easy to tell how the players feed off of one another. The Milwaukee Bucks look like a completely different team under Mike Budenholzer. Yes, it is the preseason, but it’s evident that there’s an offensive and defensive philosophy in place.

Stat That Stood Out

45. The Milwaukee Bucks hoisted up 45 three-pointers in their preseason opener versus Chicago. That was by far the most they attempted in any game last season. Although they only made 15 (33.3%) of them, it definitely was refreshing to see the Bucks hoist them up without hesitation. Also, the Bucks swung the ball around the perimeter with ease, tallying 28 assists. With how willingly the Bucks moved the ball tonight, expect to see this trend going forward as the regular season inches closer.