I’ve long been a devout Sandro Mamukelashvili advocate, ever since he tore up his first summer league and provided the first watchable Milwaukee Bucks summer basketball I’d seen in several seasons. Will I tear up watching him play for the San Antonio Spurs and slice up this Milwaukee defense on Wednesday night? Yes. Yes, I probably will.
Where Mamu’s At
It’s been going okay for the Milwaukee Bucks since Mamu left, but it’s not really a surprise that, while Milwaukee won the night they released Mamu (March 1st), their winning streak was snapped almost immediately afterwards by the Sixers. Correlation does equal causation sometimes. Yes, they’ve rebounded with a 7-3 record since, with MarJon Beauchamp doing his best to pick up the bench’s celebrations in the aftermath, but there’s clearly some semblance of Georgian spirit missing from the pine. A rebound win against the Raptors was helpful, but I viewed it simply as a tribute to when Mamu’s nearly 10-minute stint on January 4th (he was -3) helped the Bucks to a victory over the Raptors with 0 points, 2 rebounds and a single assist. We didn’t know how good we had it.
Now, Mamu has moved onto greener pastures. Our colleagues at Pounding the Rock have already taken up the good works of the true Mamu-believers and turned him into a folk hero ‘round their parts. Since his arrival, the team is 3-6. That’s almost a sixth of their season total’s worth of wins, due purely to Mamukelashvili coming to town. San Antonio is coming off a 119-84 shellacking by the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night; not by any fault of Mamu though, who shined as a starter leading the team with 20 points.
Milwaukee will be without Crowder, Dragic, Thanasis and Leonard.
Player to Watch
He is averaging 7.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists since arriving in San Antonio. Untethered, allowed to thrive, we are seeing an uncaged bird bellowing at the top of his lungs.
Game 72: Against Mamu, the Bucks will...
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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)