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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets Preview: Four Quarters Await

We may be wishing for another fire alarm with all these backups though

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NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, after the Brooklyn Nets have hogged all the offseason spotlight, the plucky, defending champion Milwaukee Bucks get a crack at the foe they sent packing in the second round of last year’s Playoffs. This is the second prelude to the main attraction: their opening night regular season tilt, as one would expect a heavy dose of deep benches in this second preseason clash for Milwaukee.

Where We’re At

Well, once more, the Milwaukee Bucks are still NBA Champions, and they’re slowly working in the fresh arrivals to their ecosystem. Preseason got off to about as strange a start as possible, with the fire alarm going off in Memphis, calling their game after three quarters and the Bucks down 77-87. The Bucks weren’t getting smoked, but they brisketly walked away the ultimate victors with mountains of barbecue. That’s a win(g) in my book.

We got a decent look at Grayson Allen’s shooting ability, Jordan Nwora’s scoring skills and Sandro Mamukelashvili’s nose for the ball. I’d expect much of the same with basically all relevant Bucks sitting this one out.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets were roundly praised for their offseason acquisitions, even if the latter stages of the summer and early fall have been embroiled in vaccine controversy over Kyrie Irving. And yet, they do still boast the most top talent out of any team in the league and they swiped a few primo free agents in the offseason. I’m not sure Patty Mills can play Playoff-level defense, or that Paul Millsap has anything left in the tank, but they decided to roll their dice on the older side of the veteran ledger. They pair them with a couple picks from this year’s draft in Cameron Thomas, a gunner out of LSU, and Day’Ron Sharpe, who is basically a motorman on the glass from North Carolina. Both acquitted themselves well in Brooklyn’s Summer League victory over the Bucks.

They opened their preseason with a 123-97 thumping of their offseason headline brethren, the Los Angeles Lakers. None of their core players saw nearly any action, but the aforementioned Cameron Thomas did dump in 21 points on 7-14 shooting. I’d expect little to nothing to takeaway from this tilt in terms of regular season ramifications between these two East favorites. As of publication, it sounds like Steve Nash is being cagey with who will or won’t play.

Player to Watch

Look, I don’t care if he plays a minute or all 48, but my player to watch all preseason is gonna be Sandro Mamukelashvili. I can’t get over my basketball crush on Mamu, so I’m trying to savor every minute I can while he’s with the big club. He acquitted himself well against most of Memphis’s frontline players with a couple solid drives and flashing his offensive rebounding acumen. And while he’ll likely be facing many more backups against the Nets, it’d be nice to see him continue that trend.


Preseason Game 2: Against Brooklyn, the Bucks will...

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