The Milwaukee Bucks took on the San Antonio Spurs in NBA bubble scrimmage action on Thursday. Check out these eight observations from the game.
In the Milwaukee Bucks‘ first of three scrimmages in the NBA’s bubble, they defeated the San Antonio Spurs 113-92. Before they take on the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, let’s take a look at eight observations from their first scrimmage.
8. Please no more in-game replays
The most infuriating part of the scrimmage was the constant in-game replays from Fox Sports Wisconsin. They weren’t shy to break from live game action to show a replay of a Bucks’ basket–sometimes even basic buckets. I love that these games are being broadcasted, but, golly, please let us watch the whole game without constant interruptions.
7. Bucks ran bland offense
To nobody’s surprise, Milwaukee ran absolutely nothing on offense. They mostly spaced the floor with their five-out system and relied on ball-movement and playground style actions such as pick-and-rolls, down screens and off-ball cuts. There was one time they ran their cross-screen action on the baseline to get Khris Middleton a post-up, but designed sets like those were far and few between. And, hey, it worked! Milwaukee put up 113 points with just 10 minute quarters.
6. George Hill started the second half
With Eric Bledsoe only arriving in the bubble late Wednesday night, Donte DiVincenzo got the start in his absence. That was typical for Mike Budenholzer, as DiVincenzo started for both Bledsoe and Middleton when they missed time earlier in the season. However, it was George Hill who started the second half in DiVincenzo’s place. I don’t know that it means anything, but I thought it is worth mentioning.
5. Slow start from downtown (3-16)
Milwaukee wasn’t impressive from behind the arc, finishing the game 12-for-40 (30 percent) from deep. A lot of that was due to a slow start as they only made three of their first 16 attempts. It wasn’t uncommon for the Bucks to go cold throughout various stretches of the season, as they are an average three-point shooting team based on percentages. It was nice to see them get hot in the second half, however, and blow the game wide open.
4. No Marvin Williams with Giannis Antetokounmpo
Marvin Williams is the Bucks’ biggest mid-season acquisition, coming to Milwaukee after getting bought out by the Charlotte Hornets. When he signed with the team, many analysts thought he’d be a great pairing alongside Antetokounmpo, especially in small-ball lineups. However, that hasn’t been the case. Out of the 383 meaningful possessions Williams has played in a Bucks’ uniform, only 90 of them have come with Antetokounmpo on the floor according to Cleaning the Glass. We’ll see if that changes in the playoffs.
3. Middleton was super slick despite his stat line.
At first glance, Middleton’s stat line, 16 points (4-12 shooting, 1-6 from deep), 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 turnover, doesn’t jump off the page at you. That’s a situation where the box score lied. Right to your face.
Middleton had some of the best plays of the game, mostly when he was passing the rock. He also mixed in his usual slick footwork jumpers off the bounce and had an all-around solid game.
2. Middleton to Antetokounmpo combo
Speaking of Middleton, he had a number of assists to his fellow All-Star, and the connection appeared to be rocking. The following clip isn’t even the best pass he made to Antetokounmpo on this game. If these two can get their pick-and-roll game working…watch out!
1. Brook Lopez’ three-point shot
Brook Lopez struggled mightily from downtown throughout the regular season–failing to make 30 percent of his threes on the season before it was paused. That’s very discouraging and Milwaukee might need to him get his percentage back up to the 35-36 mark if they want to meet their full potential. He got off to a great start on Thursday, nailing all three of his attempts from deep. Maybe Disney World is exactly what the doctor ordered for Brook.