NBA

Bucks vs Wolves Summer League Finale: Milwaukee keeps Minny at bay

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The Milwaukee Bucks (Las Vegas Edition) played a game of basketball today against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and while it lacked the weirdness of Monday’s tilt against Boston, it was still packed with action as the Bucks cruised to an 87-75 win.

NBA.com Box Score

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The Summer Bucks got off to a sloppy start, but Wolves’ lukewarm shooting made up for Milwaukee’s dismal ball control. The LV (JV?) Bucks had 12 turnovers in the first half to Minnesota’s 6. But at the end of the first half, Rayjon Tucker hit a pull-up three and lay an alley-oop of Lindell Wigginton to give the Bucks a 41-39 halftime lead.

Things got much better in the second half as both teams had their key contributors on the pitch to try and take control of the game. The Bucks fired up some hot shots to open up their biggest lead of the contest, swelling up to ten points midway through the third quarter. Wolves continued to trail and nibble away the lead, but Sandro Mamukelashvili found MarJon Beauchamp in the corner with 2 minutes left in regulation time, and the rookie hit a three that extended the Bucks’ lead to two digits … and Beauchamp followed him with three more from the same spot seconds later.

There was a lot to like about the team’s performance today; Beauchamp hit four three-pointers, Mamu had 18 points/15 rebounds/4 assists, and five total Bucks posted game point totals of 14 or more. In an environment as messy and chaotic as the Las Vegas Summer League, this bodes well for how the major contributors could line up and work together to achieve victory in an otherwise meaningless contest. The only two names of immediate consequence for the team (Mamu and MarJon) led the way, but they weren’t the only ones. It’s always cool to see.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • I had forgotten how much of a chore it was to watch Summer League. I don’t know half the names of the players, there are whistles that stop the flow of play every three possessions, and the number of unforced errors rivals the pick-up games I play. It is a difficult and difficult environment, and I salute all who can thrive there.
  • MarJon can play. If there are no other Vegas takeaways with this team, this is it. He’s far from completely comfortable in his role or playing at the pace of the NBA,
  • Pat Connaughton hopped on the show to speak with announcers about his recent contract extension. His presence (along with Bobby Portis, Wes Matthews and Jordan Nwora) at Vegas Youth is an encouraging sign of how seriously the organization takes opportunities to develop its fringe players. Bobby quickly took to Twitter to congratulate the team on the win:
  • It has nothing to do with Summer League; Athletic’s Seth Partnow released Tier 3 of his off-season player rankings today, and Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton topped the list on Wednesday. It’s pretty cool.
  • It’s also pretty cool to see Vin Baker on the sidelines, coaching the young Bucks. Baker was one of the few bright spots for Milwaukee in his prime, and seeing him come back all the way to play a role on the team is great.
  • It’s not about Summer League either; Disney+ has announced that Bluey Season 3 will be available in the US on August 10. As a parent of two young children, let me say this is the best show in television history, and I won’t hear any argument to the contrary.

Milwaukee’s final scheduled Summer League game is scheduled for tomorrow night against the Dallas Mavericks. Depending on how things develop, we’ll see what’s next for the Vegas Bucks!

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