On the backs of 17 triples from their B-squad, the Milwaukee Bucks took down the Chicago Bulls fairly easily, 122-112. With an impressive list of inactives on the evening, the Milwaukee Bucks were forced to rely on a parade of backups in their first preseason game against the Chicago Bulls.
Giannis, Bledsoe, Middleton, Ilyasova, Hill, Korver and Wilson are all OUT for the Bucks tonight. Only Wilson (hamstring) is due to injury.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) October 7, 2019
The Bucks raced out to an early lead, but the Bulls pulled back to make it just a 28-27 affair after one. At half, the Bucks continued their advantage over a nearly full strength Bulls roster, leading 63-60. In the third, Milwaukee finally edged ahead with a considerable advantage, staking a 97-86 lead with 12 minutes to go. In what will hopefully become a fixture this season, the Bucks ended with a fitting trouncing of the Bulls, 122-112.
What a Cardinal Sin It would’ve Been to Not Play the Twins Together
Mike Budenholzer opted to even start the Lopez twins together tonight, and they showed a cavalcade of moves out there between awkward tip-ins, drives and slow-footed pull-ups. They were the stars of the game for the evening, with Robin nailing a triple his first time out there. Their chemistry was evident, but more important was Robin looking to add the type of garbage and off-kilter buckets he’s gotten throughout his whole career inside the arc. They didn’t play beyond the third, but finished with 27 points and were a plus-37 collectively.
Sterling Polishes Off a Tidy Night
I was curious whether Sterling Brown might be able to make al eap this season. He showed some of the stuff that warranted his playing time against the Pistons last season, including the ability to get past Coby White for a finish at the rim. Sure, White is a rookie, but he showed some decent defensive chops earlier in the game and has quick feet and good size for a guard. With Dunn as the other primary defender against him, an off night offensively could’ve been warranted but he came alive in the third. He was pretty quiet outside of that, with no assists but nine rebounds to go with. Unfortunately, on a shorthanded night, there’s not a lot of players to highlight here.
Does Dragan Have some Fire?
With Brook in foul trouble and Ersan Ilyasova, Giannis and D.J. Wilson out for the night, Dragan Bender had a night to shine against the Bulls frontline. Granted, much of his damage was against the overpriced bowling ball himself, Cristiano Felicio, but he was active on the boards with opportune tip-ins and gladly made himself available on the arc for triples. It was an Ilyasova-lite experience. Six personal fouls is not ideal, of course.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- It was quite fascinating to see how the Lopez twins played off one another. We likely won’t see nearly as much side pick-and-roll action between the two come regular season time, but they parlayed it into a sweet finish off the rim for Robin in the second quarter. They’re gonna be a delight this whole year.
- Pat Connaughton, who had a competent looking stroke last season, looked really dialed in early on. He hopped into his shooting form quickly off the catch and was nailing plenty of his triples throughout the contest.
- Cam Reynolds is admittedly a two-way contract guy, but his jumper looked a little rickety even from the corners when given the opportunity. It’s possible NBA-level athleticism rattled him, but that would be odd given he’s already chugged a couple cups of coffee with the Timberwolves. He ended 1-5 from deep.
- Few things are more satisfying than a lethargic Lopez drive to the rim with a finish. Robin has the same knack for it as his brother.
- Donte DiVincenzo had plenty of opportunity as a ball handler tonight with so many guards out. My personal favorite pass of his came on a looper from the right side of the floor over the entire defense to an awaiting Adams in the left corner. He didn’t pay it off with a triple, but the fact he saw the pass there is promising for The Big Ragu. His shot still couldn’t quite seem to fall, going just 1-7 on the evening, however, including an inability to hit at the rim.
- For all you Luke Maye stans out there, I thought he might not even get run but Bud tossed the Tar Heel out there as the third quarter waned. What a specimen.
- Thanasis Antetokounmpo mainly looked just as wild in stints tonight as he did in his unbridled appearances with the Knicks a few years ago, but he did nail a triple tonight and drove to the bucket for a trip to the free throw line...where he promptly missed both shots, and then got his own rebound. If any play sums up Thanasis more than that, not sure you’ll find it.
- The Bucks next play on Wednesday at home against the Utah Jazz.