Milwaukee Bucks 89 Final
Recap | Box Score
98 Minnesota Timberwolves
John Henson, PF 25 MIN | 8-12 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +2Henson’s length and touch were both evident throughout the night. He soared in for a putback early, reaching over a Wolves defender to tap in a miss with ease. Minutes later he deflected a pass without looking, just by getting his arm in a passing lane while defending a pick and roll. He caught a sweet alley-oop from OJ Mayo high above the rim. These are all easy plays that Henson very naturally makes without even thinking.

Via the incomparable, Jon Hartzell.
Via the incomparable, Jon Hartzell.

He also tossed in a hook out out of the George Mikan playbook. With the shot clock running down, it started from his waist and ended up in the hoop. And, because it’s John Henson, it was left handed.

Caron Butler, SF 24 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-3 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | +6Butler couldn’t miss early on. He had nine points in the first quarter and was 4-4 from the field with a 3-pointer made. Nearly all of his makes were long jumpers, but he made them look easy, even off the dribble. If he could regularly play like he did Thursday, the Bucks would win a game or two more than even the most generous people are projecting.
Larry Sanders, C 15 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +1Sanders had three fouls immediately, worrying those who get worried about things in preseason. After two preseason games last year, the Larry Sanders who had something to prove last year was really coming on. The Larry Sanders who is established hasn’t been quite as good, but his rebounding and defensive numbers remain stellar.
Screen shot 2013-10-11 at 11.01.32 AM Nate Wolters, PG 20 MIN | 3-5 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +1Hooray, Nate! About 45 miles from his college (South Dakota State), he was inserted into the starting lineup by Larry Drew and responded with a very capable game. The crow very much enjoyed his fourth quarter 3-pointer and the Bucks got off to a 10-0 run. Granted, he didn’t have a huge role in this, but he was out there!
O.J. Mayo, SG 21 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | 0Did a little bit of everything, didn’t look bad or great.
Khris Middleton, SF 16 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -1He was knocking down spot-up jumpers, coming off curls looking to shoot and being aggressive about his opportunities late in the game. With regard to the role he played, it was a little Mike Dunleavyesque on Thursday. He had seven points in the fourth quarter.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG 28 MIN | 1-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 7 TO | 4 PTS | -11Not mentioned in this stat line: 7 TOs, 5 PFs. Rough second game from Giannis. Some obvious bright spots were the blocked shots and a pretty “Gyro-Step” he displayed to score his only basket of the night in transition. But if Tuesday had us all thinking this process might be way further along than we think, Thursday brought us back to reality.

His turnovers were a bit of lack of awareness. Lane violation. Offensive goaltend when he tip slammed a ball in the sphere still. Two miscommunications/bad decisions on inbounds passes. But he narrowly avoided a few other with passes that were less than crisp. Preseason is made for a guy like him to get up to speed. Love how Drew is using him extensively.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Larry Drew wants the Bucks up the court in less than four seconds and more often than not, they’ve been hitting that target. It hasn’t resulted in a ton of good offensive sets, but perhaps as the team gets more cohesive, we’ll see that improve. At the very least, they are hitting this detail pretty well.
  2. The Wolves, a terrible 3-point shooting team last season, hit all six threes they attempted in the third quarter.
  3. Ersan Ilyasova did not play due to an sprained ankle. John Hammond said at half that it’s a lower ankle sprain, which isn’t considered as bad as the dreaded high ankle sprain, so the hope is he returns sooner rather than later, but he didn’t put a timeline on it.
  4. Shoutout to the Fox Sports team of Jim Paschke and Sidney Moncrief for battling through some technical difficulties. They had to share one feed with the Minnesota broadcast team and occasionally sounded like they were using World War era walkie talkies, but kept powering through until things were figured out.