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NBA Summer League: Milwaukee Closes Out Vegas Losing to Denver, 87-94

This one might’ve been the best game yet though!

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Milwaukee Bucks v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

If I told you the Milwaukee Bucks most exciting Summer League game would be the one without Jordan Nwora, how many believers would I have? Well, even in a turnover-fest, the Denver Nuggets and Bucks delivered lots of highlights in a genuinely enjoyable second half, as Milwaukee fell 87-94.

ESPN Box Score

Milwaukee raced out to a surprising 24-16 lead after the first period, partially behind seven points from the former Wisconsin Badger, D’Mitrik Trice. After a positive shooting half for once, this plucky team without its leading scorer commanded a 46-41 halftime advantage despite 15 turnovers through two periods. It grew tight after three with the Bucks behind 68-69. Unfortunately, the Bucks couldn’t overcome...27(!!!) turnovers and they fell to 1-4 overall for their time in Vegas.

We got some blasts from the past in this broadcast too with former Bucks sideline reporter Katie George on the assignment. She even talked about how the Bucks have been impressed with Sandro Mamukelashvili’s performances thus far in Vegas. Thon Maker was also in the stands, watching his younger brother Matur with Denver.

Players that Stood Out

Jordan Nwora got the night off, as did Georgios Kalaitzakis with that quad contusion, meaning we were left with just a few players worth monitoring closely in relation to the Bucks regular season roster.

Mamadi Diakite - Credit to Mamdi for recovering well after a rough start to Summer League. He started this one well attacking the defensive glass and even finishing a post-up with an and-one. He also splashed home a corner triple confidently too. Defensively, he did a nice job containing Bones Hyland in isolation on the perimeter, forcing him into his first turnover on the day. He had nine points, six boards and six turnovers.

In the cons list today, he couldn’t quite handle a pass high on the roll and lost his handle a few times while trying to make a ripthrough move into the paint. He also had the ball stripped while dribbling upcourt and traveled. So far, it definitely didn’t look like he was ready to play all that much outside of his rebounding, rolling and popping role.

Sandro Mamukelashvili - He started off a possession in the first period with a sloppy pass to the corner, but around the 6:00 minute mark, he ended it with an underhand, backward behind his back attempted pass to a man in the strong corner. It was soft but near on target and my word was a fun to watch him try something that audacious. (It’s been a long stint in Vegas, okay folks) Theo Pinson missed the jumper. In the first half, he looked for his shot too from the mid-post and as a roller. And, he finally hit his first 3-pointer in Summer League, followed up by a deep second one and third in the fourth. No assists in this one, but he had 20 points on 12 shots to go with seven boards and three turnovers.

He’ll still have a ways to go defensively, and he showed some issues finishing over length at the rim, but he definitely made Summer League far more watchable than it could’ve been.

D’Mitrik Trice - Shouts to the former Badger standout. He was never my favorite Wisconsin player, but given he’s old enough to be a several year veteran in the NBA, it was fun to see him have a superb game with additional responsibilities. He even channeled his inner Brad Davison and drew an offensive foul. His valiant effort ended with 24 points on 16 shots.