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Bucks vs. Timberwolves Summer League Final: Milwaukee Keeps Minnesota At Bay

2022 NBA Summer League - Minnesota Timberwolves v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks (Las Vegas edition) played a basketball game today against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and while it lacked the weirdness of Monday’s tilt against Boston it was still jam-packed with action as the Bucks took home an 87-75 victory. Box Score

The summertime Bucks got off to a sloppy start, but the Wolves’ tepid shooting balanced out Milwaukee’s woeful ball control. The LV (JV?) Bucks had 12 first half turnovers to Minnesota’s 6. But as the first half came to a close, Rayjon Tucker nailed a pull-up three and put down an alley-oop from Lindell Wigginton to give the Bucks a 41-39 halftime lead.

Things picked up a fair amount in the second half, as both teams had their main contributors out on the floor to try and take control of the game. The Bucks rode some hot shooting to open up their largest lead of the contest, ballooning up to ten points at the midway point in the third quarter. The Wolves kept hanging around and chipping away at the lead, but Sandro Mamukelashvili found MarJon Beauchamp in the corner with 2 minutes left in regulation, and the rookie hit a three that extended the Bucks’ lead back over double-digits...and Beauchamp followed it up with another three from the same spot merely seconds later.

There was a lot to like from the team’s performance today; Beauchamp hit four three-pointers, Mamu posted 18 points/15 rebounds/4 assists, and five total Bucks posted point totals of 14 or more for the game. In an environment as messy and chaotic as Las Vegas Summer League, that bodes well for how the main contributors could align and work together to post a win in an otherwise-meaningless contest. The only two names of immediate consequence for the team (Mamu and MarJon) led the way, but they were not alone. That’s always cool to see.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • I forgot just how much of a chore it is to watch Summer League. I don’t know half of the players’ names, there are whistles stopping the flow of the game every three possessions, and the amount of unforced errors rivals that of the pickup games that I play in. It’s a tough, tough environment, and I salute anyone who can thrive in it.
  • MarJon can play. If there are no other takeaways from Vegas with this team, this is it. He’s nowhere near fully comfortable in his role or playing at an NBA pace, but the ingredients for a valuable wing are clearly there. Between the size, the fluidity, the competitive drive, and the shooting ability, Beauchamp has as good of a chance to earn a spot in the rotation as I can remember a rookie having.
  • We had a take foul! Beauchamp drew contact in transition during the third quarter, which resulted in a free throw and possession. This new area of emphasis is slated to take effect next season, and Bucks fans should be highly excited for it.
  • Mamu got postered late in the second quarter after rotating late to protect the basket.
  • Pat Connaughton hopped onto the broadcast to talk with the announcers about his recent contract extension. Him (along with Bobby Portis, Wes Matthews, and Jordan Nwora) being present in Vegas for the young guys is an encouraging sign of how seriously the organization is taking the opportunities to develop their fringe roster players. Bobby quickly took to Twitter to congratulate the team on the win:
  • This has nothing to do with Summer League; The Athletic’s Seth Partnow released Tier 3 of his offseason player rankings today, and both Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton were featured near the top of Wednesday’s list. That’s pretty cool.
  • It’s also pretty cool to see Vin Baker on the sidelines, coaching up the Bucks’ youngsters. Baker was one of the few bright spots for Milwaukee in his hey-day, and seeing him come all the way back around to have a role with the team is great.
  • This is also not about Summer League; Disney+ announced that Season 3 of Bluey will be available in the US on August 10. As a parent of two young kids, let me just say that this is the best show in the history of television, and I will hear no arguments otherwise.

Milwaukee’s final scheduled Summer League game is set up for tomorrow evening against the Dallas Mavericks. Depending on how things shake out, we’ll see what’s next for the Vegas Bucks!