Even a Milwaukee Bucks Summer League squad at full strength was no match for the mighty Minnesota Timberwolves, who downed the Ham Slamwich’s team, 100-91. Despite the triumphant return of D.J. Wilson and the dramatic entrance of fan-favorite and “Best SL Buck if he just got the chance” Fletcher Magee, the first quarter went as we’ve gotten accustomed to: Milwaukee trailed 26-16. Unfortunately, the second went similarly to the first, with the Bucks down 47-38 at halftime. The low-scoring affair continued as expected, with Milwaukee still in a 72-62 rut heading into the fourth.
As for the final period, I think it might’ve been the most enjoyable stretch of Bucks Summer League basketball we’ve seen yet. The pace of play was speedy, neither team was gumming up the game with unnecessary, sloppy fouls or turnovers and players were nailing some impressive off-the-dribble triples and 3-pointers within the flow of the offense. After the drudgery of the last three quarters, it was a welcome sight even if it ended in another Bucks loss.
I’ll say this, for a Minnesota squad that just beat the Hawks handily, this Bucks team acquitted itself well. They’ve been far more competitive than I thought they had any right to be this summer. Good on Ham and his staff for getting them ready to go.
Bonus Bucks Bits
Sterling Brown, who continued to struggle, did have one nifty gifty of a pass to Jock Landale on a drive through the lane with a bounce pass sent behind him under the paint for a finish. Crafty stuff.
In the first quarter alone there were several players stepping out of bounds on the sideline and a couple travels to boot. #ThisSummerLeague...
At the tail end of the first, our long statewide nightmare finally ended: Fletcher Magee checked in. He didn’t attempt a shot and got roasted defensively on his first possession. When he tried to make something happen with the ball in his hands int eh second half, he got it stripped and taken the other way for a finish. Folks, I’m not sure we’re hiding him to avoid other teams getting a look...
We had the best highlight yet of one of these Summer League Bucks broadcast. All respect to Doris Burke, but Chris Fowler whipping out a fabulous, vintage Mike Tyson line that perfectly described the proceedings at Wimbledon was just on another planet. A genuinely informative, poetic piece of broadcasting. It was followed up by Dan Dakich bringing nachos and popcorn to Mark Jones and Burke. Back to reality.
The Bucks two core roster players, Brown and Wilson, went a combined 1-14 in the first half. This was a comforting sight to start the second. Wilson did not provide much comfort after that, ending 1-8.
Kudos to Elijah Bryant for being tonight’s random dude that pops off. He went for a 10-point outburst to start the fourth quarter that closed the gap and made this one an actual contest. He finished with a game-high 31 points.
It was heartening to see Brown step up in the fourth quarter, racking home a corner three (his specialty) and scoring through contact at the rim. He showed plenty of that last year, but just hasn’t been able to find his stride or luck in Vegas this time around. A 4-18 performance didn’t help that trend.