For years, Milwaukee’s abhorrent Summer League squads have put up mediocre records. Now, they have a chance to do the seemingly impossible: Win two games in a row. Tonight, they face off against the Dallas Mavericks, who are sporting an 0-1 record after falling to the Phoenix Suns 92-85.
No word yet on whether Milwaukee’s only draft pick, The Big Ragu, will be able to suit up for the first time this Summer League. He’s hampered by a right groin strain he said has been hurting him for a few weeks. During Milwaukee’s 90-63 victory over the Detroit Pistons, DiVincenzo said he wanted to get to 100% before getting back into game action. If DiVincenzo is still held out, D.J. Wilson should have plenty of opportunities yet again to rifle up shots.
Player to Watch: Christian Wood
Bucks fans will certainly be keeping their eye on Christian Wood, who skied, shimmied and slammed all over the Pistons on Friday night. Wood went off for 23 points, 11 boards and four blocks against Detroit’s pithy front line. Interestingly, Dallas doesn’t have a single player that identifies as a true “center” according to their Summer League roster. Jonathan Motley filled that starting role last game at 6’10”. Talent has never been the question with Wood though, it’s almost always been consistency. We’ll see whether the latter holds up tonight.
As we said above, the Mavs fell to the Suns on Friday night despite some balanced scoring from the likes of Dennis Smith Jr. (14 points) and Jalen Jones (16 points). The more exciting development is the possibility of Luke Doncic making his NBA debut, after he officially inked a buyout with Real Madrid. Since there are still a number of parameters he has to pass, and he just spent the better part of a year playing basketball, I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get the chance to take on Milwaukee tonight. Hopefully, that means Kostas Antetokounmpo can get spot minutes to give Bucks fans a familiar rooting interest in the game.
Player to Watch: Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis Smith Jr.’s electric athleticism helped him take over last year on a Mavs team sorely in need of some excitement and a steady hand at the rudder. He still has plenty of kinks to iron out in his game, but a second-year Summer League player always has potential to dazzle the lesser oncourt competition. After a full NBA season under his belt, I’d expect him to make Travis Trice look silly plenty of times tonight.
Tonight’s game starts at 6 pm CST and is available on NBATV or streaming via the WatchESPN app.