Mike Budenholzer finally granted us our first look at the Milwaukee Bucks presumed starters in the latest preseason tilt...and it was glorious. It seems like we will get a few more glimpses though during this late tipoff Utah Jazz preseason game.
Where We’re At
While I thoroughly enjoyed watching Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday lay waste to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday evening, it was the rare double caveat game. It was preseason. And it was against, ostensibly, the league’s worst roster. Take from it what you will, but what I took from it was the ease with which each of Milwaukee’s Big Three settled back into their roles. The offense was humming, each found the very spots that served them so well in the postseason, and Grayson Allen chimed in with 13 points and a poster block + dunk. That’ll do Grayson, that’ll do.
Grayson fitting right in.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 11, 2021
13 PTS | 4 REB | 1 BLK pic.twitter.com/kJ6FLaEzQW
As for the Utah Jazz, they’re left picking up the pieces from a blockbuster regular season but a dispiriting Playoff exit, even if it came with Mike Conley Jr. injured. Now, they need to find a way to re-energize themselves in much the same way Milwaukee had to after their prior two seasons of regular season success followed by postseason flameouts. One teensy tinsy difference though...they certainly don’t boast anyone of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s stature. Utah tried to expand their playtype palette this offseason by acquiring Rudy Gay and Eric Paschall, each of whom will presumably allow them to test out some smallball lineups without Rudy Gobert. For a team whose defense is already uber-reliant on Gobert cleaning up suspect perimeter defense, I’m pretty suspect that strategy can yield all that many riches, but they had to shake-up something. The Jazz are fresh off spanking the New Orleans Pelicans, 127-96.
As for injuries or players sitting out, it appears we will get most of Milwaukee and Utah’s core groups.
Injury report update for Wednesday vs. Utah:— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 13, 2021
Donte - left ankle; surgery
Semi - left calf; strain
Bobby - left hamstring; strain
Injury report:— utahjazz (@utahjazz) October 12, 2021
OUT- Trent Forrest (Concussion Protocol)
OUT- Rudy Gay (Right Heel Surgery)
Questionable- Jared Butler (non-COVID illness)
Probable- Elijah Hughes (Left Leg Soreness)
Player to Watch
I’m not sure how much burn he will get, but Rodney Hood coming off the injury report for the first time vaults him stop the list. I’m very skeptical he has anything left (he’s my candidate for the Annual Free Agent Buck who gets shipped out mid season) but it’d be nice to finally see him on the court.
Also, I know he’s not going to make the roster, but I do want to give just a wee bit of shine to the diminutive point guard Tremont Waters. I have absolutely zero faith in him ever becoming a competent NBA player, but he’s actually provided some of my favorite passes during preseason games thus far. His size makes the passes look like they’re coming out of nowhere, and he’s added some flash to them too. If nothing else, he helps add a bit of entertainment factor to games that sorely need them when so many usual rotation pieces sit out.
Preseason Game 4: Against Utah, the Bucks will…
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)