The Milwaukee Bucks’ first annual Fan Fest took place on Saturday with autographs, photos, and little children in inflatable plastic balls being the main attractions. While this was all fun and good, the real entertainment started when the team held a three-quarter scrimmage for the fans.
It may seem pointless to analyze the performance of the players in this practice as it was just that … a practice. But let’s do it anyway because it’s the weekend and we won’t have anything new to talk about until the Bucks play their first preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.
Here’s what I saw:
- Let’s start with who we care about most: Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s so long oh my golly. I made sure to always be aware of his location as he could’ve accidentally punched me in the face from any spot in the arena. He started on the White team (alongside Luke Ridnour, Gary Neal, John Henson, and Olek Cyzy) and looked surprisingly composed. His decisions were seldom rushed and he showed a preference for flashy passes as he led off the game with a nifty no-looker. It would be nice if he would move in from the three-point line. His strengths come off the ball at this point rather than as a spot-up shooter. Overall I was extremely impressed with his performance considering his age. I became giddy during the times when he, Henson, and Larry Sanders stood next to each other. So much arm!
- Miroslav Raduljica is a literal giant. He moved better than I thought he could and displayed some decent post moves against Sanders. Still not sure what his role will be once Udoh and Pachulia are healthy. But no matter the role, it will be nice for the Bucks to have a semi-mobile 7-foot-1 Serbian on their bench.
- Neal played a lot like the Neal who was the butt of pretty much every San Antonio Spurs related joke last season. He pulled up and missed at least three contested three-pointers before heading to the locker room with what looked to be a foot or ankle injury. Gary Neal gonna Gary Neal.
- O.J. Mayo played aggressive for the most part which is good to see. The Bucks will be in a good position if he can average 4- 6 free throw attempts per game. (His career high is 3.5.) He also seemed to be in good spirits throughout the scrimmage with frequent laughs and chest-bumps.
- Ridnour was Ridnour. We know what the team will consistently get out of him.
- Sanders and Henson were both pretty ordinary. Sanders blocked at least two shots (including one against Antetokounmpo which made me feel SO MANY conflicting emotions) and threw down a few nice dunks. Henson had little offense run through him in the post but played solid defense on Sanders.
- Brandon Knight dunked! It was very reminiscent of the types of dunks Brandon Jennings was also able to do. Rim-grazzzzzzzzer. There was also a lot of pick-and-roll action between him and Sanders.
- Nate Wolters looked serviceable. Like Antetokounmpo, he played a lot more composed than I expected. He handled ball pressure well and was able to find cutting Bucks with nice passes a few times. I like what I saw.
- Carlos Delfino (fractured foot), Zaza Pachulia (Achilles), and Ekpe Udoh (sore knees) did not participate in the scrimmage.
If you missed the practice, don’t worry! A replay of it is available on Bucks.com.
The Bucks will travel to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers on Tuesday at 6PM.