Jabari Parker did a dream shake and the Bucks won a practice game last night

First, the most important thing that happened. Jabari Parker showed off a little bit of what got people so hot and bothered about him early on last season at Duke:

That warms and brightens the coldest, darkest soul … which of course is mine. Parker was always advertised as having a more developed offensive game and the above nifty little move on veteran Earl Clark was pretty cool. He spent a lot of time playing center at Duke last season. He began last night’s game at the power forward, matched up with Zach Randolph. Little experiences like those can start to plant encouraging thoughts into the minds of Bucks fans, especially when they think about Parker matched up with smaller players.

Even if it is preseason, it’s fun to have basketball back. It’s fun to see real live highlights of players playing basketball, rather than pictures of players at local fairs.

Parker’s highlight wasn’t the only reason for the Milwaukee Bucks to feel good Wednesday night though, as the team rallied from a double-digit deficit and defeated the Memphis Grizzlies Reserves 86-83. I say reserves, as each of the Grizzly starters had plus/minus numbers over +10, which indicates they played early, built the lead and then watched their backups give it away.

I say “indicates” in the last sentence because I have a confession: I did not watch this game, listen to this game or pay it much mind. But this morning I’ve been digging into the media surrounding it. I received a couple of tweets indicating Khris Middleton played well near the game’s completion. I frequently am notified when Middleton does something positive. I should make it clear: I THINK IT IS A GOOD THING WHEN KHRIS MIDDLETON PLAYS WELL. I expect him to start for the Bucks and I expect his offensive efficiency numbers to mirror or improve from where they were last season. He finished the game with 17 points on 7-12 FG (2-2 3FG).

Larry Sanders finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds, which is a development I’d call downright encouraging. I mentioned in the most recent Bucksketball Podcast that I’d be interested to see if he can play stellar defense, rebound the ball well and stay out of foul trouble. I can’t speak to his defense, but he seems to have accomplished goals two and three in game one (only three fouls).

Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with a game that screams LOOK AT MY VERSATILITY. Eight points, five assists and five rebounds. He came off the bench, as Jared Dudley and Middleton got the start on the wings, but Jason Kidd said to be hesitant about putting too much stock into his lineups this preseason, so don’t assume Giannis can’t be the starter going forward.

OJ Mayo did not play.

Anything I missed? Shout at me in the comments section.

Categories: Recaps

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  1. I’m rehabbing in the area of Middleton too. Hoping to see more active defense. Hoping to see more contributions on offense other than good shooting (which we definitely need). Mostly, I’m rehabbing my to-this-point tepid appreciation of him.

  2. Not that I’ve been accused, but for the record, I’ve never tweeted anything to anyone, and don’t even know how to tweet, so I wasn’t in a position to tweet Jeremy about Khris Middleton even if I wanted to, which I don’t think I would do anyway.

    As a big fan and big defender of Khris Middleton at Bucksketball, I want to say that this isn’t about him becoming a perennial all-star — although at his young age, I hesitate to put limits on his potential.

    What I see in Khris is a talented young player with a good feel for the game, a good connection with his teammates on the court, a good involvement in the action, and a good attitude overall about basketball — including the virtue of being supremely unselfish.

    To me, that’s a formula for a winner, and so I think Khris is an important player for the future of the Bucks. It’ll be fun to see how he develops in all areas of his game, including defense and driving the ball to the hoop, and to see how far he can go as an NBA player.

    In general, I’m enthused about our young guys on the Bucks as far as their talents and their attitudes. I think they have the promise to be outstanding players and outstanding men. If they do so as a team for the Bucks, then we could have something special to enjoy over the next several years.

    • Thanks for fueling my effort at Middleton appreciation. He was mentioned/shown so often during the off season that I suspected that the Bucks liked having him on the roster. Figure I should make an effort to see what they (and you) see.