We made it. The last game of meaningless basketball is tonight, as the Milwaukee Bucks welcome the Dallas Mavericks for the finale of the 2021 NBA preseason. We’re expecting another 80ish games that are similarly meaningless for the reigning NBA champions until they really start to matter again, but we just gotta take it one day at a time.
Where We’re At
The news of the day in Milwaukee is that general manager Jon Horst received a contract extension, keeping him alongside coach Mike Budenholzer for the foreseeable future. I posted an incomplete summary on Twitter of Horst’s tenure as GM, and the team is lucky that he worked out so, so well.
Off the cuff, Horst was a huge part of:— Mitchell Maurer (@Mitchell_NBA) October 15, 2021
-landing Bledsoe for Monroe/picks
-landing Jrue for Bledsoe/Hill/picks
-midseason trades for Hill, Mirotic, Tucker
All these pieces matter, and the Bucks got a ring. https://t.co/iM8IFWtZ44
In more immediate news, the Bucks seem to be rounding into form. Despite their record, Milwaukee’s main rotation seems fully prepared for the regular season, though Bobby Portis continues to miss time with a hamstring injury and we continue to await Donte DiVincenzo’s return from ankle surgery. We also haven’t seen Semi Ojeleye yet and have been subjected to very little of Rodney Hood, suggesting that the rotation may be tweaked and tinkered with over the first few weeks of the season.
Bucks' injury report for tomorrow night's preseason finale against the Mavericks:— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) October 14, 2021
Donte DiVincenzo - OUT (left ankle surgery)
Semi Ojeleye - OUT (left calf strain)
Bobby Portis - OUT (left hamstring strain)
Rodney Hood - DOUBTFUL (right foot soreness)
Meanwhile in Dallas...Jason Kidd is head coach for the Mavericks. No, really. After being removed in Milwaukee and eventually catching on as an assistant with the Lakers, Mark Cuban decided to put Jason Kidd in charge of the effort to get Luka Doncic and the Mavs over the hump. Yes, they’ve already had to post an article clarifying that their “three-point shooting won’t disappear” on his watch. It’s almost as funny as the business with his collar.
We made Jason Kidd's collar bigger. pic.twitter.com/bMhrfSbdMn— Korked Bats (@korkedbats) October 12, 2021
Player To Watch
Luka is the engine that drives Dallas forward, but all eyes are on Kristaps Porzingis this season. He’s getting paid $31M for the season and was brought in to be a co-star, and he’s barely been able to perform as a supporting actor. Part of that is his development plateauing, part of it is health, and part of it is that Porzingis is 7’3” and plays like he’s 5-foot-20. Can he get in position to use his natural tools and combine that with his admittedly impressive skill level to get his career back on track? Time will tell.
Preseason Game 5: Against Dallas, 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)