The Summer Bucks continued to flounder in the Las Vegas Summer League, dropping a 100-71 loss to the summer version of the San Antonio Spurs. Giannis Antetokounmpo paced the Bucks with 20 points as he continued his adventures as the offensive creator for Milwaukee’s offense. Some may go so far as to call him a point guard.
The Spurs led whole way, carefully probing the Bucks’ defense with the extra pass for open three-point shots. San Antonio connected on 9 of 24 mostly open looks from long distance. But rather than focusing on the Spurs’ poise or the poor collection of talent surrounding the Bucks’ roster players, the most productive exercise is to sum up the games of the Bucks who will still be around in October.
In scoring a game-high 20 points and getting a game-high 7 rebounds — the first time he’s ever gotten to 20 points in a Bucks uniform — Giannis constantly made the right decision on driving or shooting. When the defense sagged, he patiently squared up and attempted threes — making 3 of his 6 tries. When the defense got up on him, he built up a full head of steam and attacked the rim ferociously. The best was his statuesque dunk to end the first half.
He even finished a nice play as the roll man on the pick and roll as well as swatting two chasedown blocks off of San Antonio’s fast break.
Two knocks on Antetokounmpo’s performance. Six turnovers and zero assists is a bad look, but it’s a lot easier to swallow considering the team’s lack of outside shooting. Players other than Antetokounmpo are shooting 15% (6/40 3FG) from three-point distance. There’s not much point to driving and kicking with this group.
The other knock is that he’s reaching a bit too much on defense. His massive wingspan gives Giannis an edge on defense, but when he doesn’t concentrate on moving his feet from the get-go, he ends up fouling on plays where he tries to get back into a play with a reach.
Jabari Parker built up to things more slowly. In the first quarter, he was having trouble getting his shot off. He got called for an offensive foul on a push off. He had a shot blocked. He turned the ball over (7 times total for the game).
Parker, though, eventually steadied by relying on the free throw line. He simplified his offensive arsenal and focused on making one move toward the basket. The result was 13 free throw attempts. He didn’t make a field goal until the second half when he leaked out on a fast break — it was oh so close to cherry-picking, but it wasn’t — and caught a long pass for a dunk. He followed that with a drive for a layup and a pullup jumper. Subtract the first quarter and it was a decent enough performance.
Nate Wolters didn’t have a great game, perhaps because he hurt his ankle a week ago. He got beat badly on a pair of backdoor cuts, and his jumper seems out of sync.
Johnny O’Bryant has a nice collection of low post moves: smooth turnarounds and up-and-under fakes. He fared better in this game than he did against the 7-foot-9 wingspan of Rudy Gobert in the prior game. On the other hand, in adding O’Bryant and Parker to the roster, the Bucks have added two guys who don’t really do much in the way of protecting the rim.
The Bucks close out Summer League with a game against Golden State on Friday at 3:30 CT.