It was a bummer before the contest even started today for the Milwaukee Bucks’ Summer League debut, as first round pick Donte DiVincenzo was withheld from the game due to a right groin strain.
DiVincenzo is still expected to take part in pregame warmups and such, but the Bucks’ first-round pick won’t play today.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) July 6, 2018
Secondary to that, the main star was Christian Wood, who tallied 23 points in the 90-63 victory with a number of ferociously athletic dunks. D.J. Wilson ended with 17 (I think, the box scores weren’t available), and showed a few flashes, albeit not the type of growth one would’ve hoped for a second year player. Sterling Brown looked comfortable enough to be playing in the Bucks main rotation right now.
The first quarter was certainly a barn-burner, ending with a riveting 14-8 score with Milwaukee ahead. A second quarter with at least a modicum of pace saw Milwaukee burst out to a 39-22 halftime lead as Christian Wood and Sterling Brown poured in points down the stretch. Milwaukee maintained its lead throughout the third, drawing another 3-point foul as the quarter closed to lead 60-41 as the period ended. Milwaukee put on a scoring show in the fourth, propelling themselves to a 90-63 victory as the buzzer sounded.
Bonus Bucks Bits
Color me dismayed when D.J. Wilson had a chance at a pick-and-pop three early in the first quarter and passed it up to try and drive past Henry Ellenson. Instead, he found himself stonewalled and settled for a turnaround midrange jumper. If there’s anything I hope Wilson takes away from Bud this Summer, it’s to just shoot the darn ball from outside when it’s there.
I enjoyed the quick hook on D.J. Wilson when he botched a fast break by looking for his own off-kilter shot rather than finding Travis Trice beneath the bucket. Hey, he hit a three though!
This is very true:
When a Bucks summer league player wears number 20 and it isn’t Rashad Vaughn pic.twitter.com/1tFAXgBw3m— Brew Hoop (@brewhoop) July 6, 2018
Christian Wood was quite active to start the game, drawing fouls at the rim and even finding Perry Ellis beneath the hoop from behind the 3-point arc, showing decent vision for a mercurial big man and player.
Sterling Brown may not have torn up the box score, but you could see his veteran control compared to the multitude of young players on the court tonight. Whether it was Brown sprinting back and disrupting a potential fast break, contesting shots at the rim or calmly distributing off drives by popping it back out to the perimeter, he looked far more comfortable than everyone else. The two most promising things he displayed were his contorting finishes at the rim, something that troubled him last year, and his pull-up jumper.
Wood continued to own the first half too, slapping Pistons shots away like flies and showing athletic finishes in traffic. The latter of which is something sorely lacking from the rest of Milwaukee’s big man crop.
Look, there wasn’t a whole lot to take away from this game, so I’m just going to keep spamming Wood jam highlights (he also hit a three) in hopes Milwaukee takes a flier on him to at least see whether he’s worthwhile in Bud’s system.
Christian Wood is having a JAM fest!! pic.twitter.com/hMPE218ebF— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 7, 2018
The second best subplot of tonight’s game was the woeful performance of NBA’s app, which was incredibly inaccurate throughout the night. Of course, we had to chronicle it:
Wilson’s shot aesthetics continue to look as pleasing to the eye as a ruptured spleen, but I will say his ability to get a quick shot off under duress is promising. He needs to be able to rifle shots off in the faster NBA pace, and being able to do so off the dribble is at least something to take away from this contest.
Nothing revelatory in Donte’s sideline interview, but he did mention hoping to play as many Summer League games as possible. Hopefully, that will start on Sunday night.
"I'm feeling alright, I worked out today...just trying to get to 100% before I go back out there." pic.twitter.com/J0gYZ8y4xn— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) July 7, 2018
Wood’s athletic defensive stops aside, he did show a bit of a lackadaisical attitude off-ball defensively, unable to get out to competently cover shooters on the perimeter. Late in the game, Ellenson also got him with a pump-fake to draw a foul at the rim. There’s plenty to like about Wood’s game, but let’s all remember there’s a reason he hasn’t caught on with any team as of yet. Offensively though, he certainly has the athleticism to hang.