In the second-to-last game of the preseason, the Milwaukee Bucks traveled to the Sooner State to visit the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game I’m sure they would like to forget.
The talented youngsters in Oklahoma City put on a show tonight, scoring early and often. Specifically, Chet Holmgren and Josh Giddey filled the stat sheet, finishing with 19 and 18 points, respectively. The Bucks couldn’t maintain the same efficiency, and they never had a lead at any point in the game (although they only trailed 69-68 at one point). Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 18 points in 25 minutes, including this silky fadeaway from around the free-throw line:
The other bright spot in the Bucks’ starting lineup tonight was Malik Beasley, who finished with 20 points, including going 6-for-11 from three (!!!). While that was a welcomed bright spot, Pat Connaughton and Damian Lillard (more on him later) combined to shoot 4-for-19 from beyond the arc.
Andre Jackson Jr. finished with 12 points in 20 minutes coming off the bench. While 12 points on 13 shots is nothing to write home about, he’s still making plays that inspire confidence in his long-term development, like this side-stepping three-pointer in the second quarter:
Andre Jackson Jr. knocks down the three at the expiration of the shot clock pic.twitter.com/pVVwAjzF2F— Bucks Nation (@BucksNationCP) October 18, 2023
Stat That Stood Out
Damian Lillard had a pretty rough outing, going 2-for-11 for just five points in 25 minutes of action. He has failed to eclipse a field goal percentage of 30% in his first two preseason starts. Does this mean that his decade-long Linsanity run is over? I doubt it. The spacing will likely improve once Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez are back on the floor, and this is the most talent Lillard has ever played around excluding All-Star games. At least he’s taking advantage of these scrimmage games to get comfortable!