Summer Spurs 100 – Summer Bucks 71: A lot of Giannis, a little of Jabari and precious little else


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.

Categories: Summer League

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  1. Unfortunately, maybe fortunately, I haven’t watched the summer league games. Is it safe to chalk wolters lack of success (box score success anyhow) to injury? I remember the bucksketball staff really liked his game last year and with good reason as we seemed to be a much more competent team with him on the floor. But, I was hoping to see some real improvement here in summer league. Can we chalk it up to him not looking 100%?

    • I love the guy don’t get me wrong but looks like we have to redefine traveling for him.

  2. Who was that robust (fat) dude the Bucks trotted out there for a while playing in the post? I literally saw him foul a guy because he didn’t want to run after him. Hilarious. That guy really seemed out of place, but I saw Giannis try to get him the ball several times. I know it’s summer league, and you have try guys out, but come on! How did he get an invite? J Kizzles’ nephews’ cousins’ former roommate?

    • I think you’re referring to Kenny Frease, but I could be mistaken. The Kenny and Kenny (Kadji) Show has not been worth the price of admission.

  3. Quirky-fan Stat of the Night:

    Bucks: 6 assists/22 turnovers
    Spurs: 19 assists/11 turnovers

    I know it’s Summer League, I know we have new owners
    and a new coach, but could we at least not embarrass
    ourselves? A little professionalism, please? I missed
    almost all of the live broadcast of this game, but I
    doubt I would watch a rebroadcast.

    The relevance is that with the Bucks likely to be not
    all that good for at least the upcoming season, it
    would be nice to see a certain competency on the court,
    a certain direction, a certain identity, a certain
    self-respect as a team. Even the lesser teams can hustle
    on defense, share the ball, play smart, and cheer each
    other on to betterment.

    To give up 100 points in a 40-minute game, and to lose by
    29 points, suggests that at least for now, something is still
    terribly amiss with the Bucks.

    My hunch is to blame not so much the players but mostly
    the management — for not making the effort to assemble
    a summer roster with at least a semblance of team
    coordination and chemistry — and to blame the coaches —
    for not preparing the players well enough to play at least
    a smidgen of defense, to pass the ball with some
    carefulness, and to generally develop some measure of
    esprit de corps, team spirit.

    Success starts with doing the little things (like the Vegas
    Summer League) with a lot of care. Let’s hope this cringeworthy
    week is a wake-up call to change the culture of the Milwaukee
    Bucks… please!!!

    • The Spurs definitely had a better sense of when and where to pass the ball.

      They also made nearly 90% of their free throws and the Bucks didn’t get anywhere near that mark.

    • The roster was horrible for summer league, but it seemed like they did not attempt to create a good roster. I think we as fans overrate the importance of summer league. Does it mean anything if we win? Do any of the players not drafted make the team anyway? I am happy that Giannis looked great, Jabari showed some ability to get his shot, and JOB showed some skill in the post. That is all that matters in my book (besides nate as well)

      • Changing the culture of the Milwaukee Bucks to one of success and winning should be encouraged throughout the entire year and not just during the NBA season. I’m disappointed that management wasn’t able to put together a better summer league roster or develop a better game plan for playing tough defense and more efficient offense. A successful summer league appearance by the team and more specifically the key players there would have given some momentum to the changing culture of the Bucks organization, but oh well — a missed opportunity I guess.

        • I assumed that the reason why the roster is so poor is because the undrafted free agents have some say in where they want to go if multiple teams offer them spots in the SL roster, so most people didn’t want to join the Bucks.

          • I would think that with the Bucks being thin at the guard positions and with only 1 truly girthy big center at the NBA level (I’m not counting Pachulia) that they may of been able to attract some of the better undrafted players at those positions for the chance to make an impression first hand and hopefully earn a training camp tryout.

  4. Summer League is a great place for the Bucks management to scout talent on the other teams in the League.

    • True that … I also think the poor coaching may be due to the fact that the new coaching staff had just been formed days earlier ??