NBA

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors Summer League Finals: O Cana-d’oh

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The Milwaukee Bucks received another humble serving of pie from the Toronto Raptors, losing their final game of the 2022 Summer League, 80-69.

NBA.com Box Score

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Considering it was technically a noon game, it wouldn’t be the Bucks’ weekend basketball without a slow start. Many of the attempts were high percentage, clean, but the team struggled to knock them down. For the first time in quite some time, it also looked like coach Vin Baker was asking the team to run particular sets to bring MarJon Beauchamp into designed action, although no chance of knocking them down. Lindell Wigginton struggled to score to help lift the team, and it took Iverson Molinar’s insert with around three minutes to play to turn the tide; he immediately got a few bucks for falling behind the wheel while getting a steal and a quick dunk. Otherwise, not much else of note, Bucks down 16-18 after one.

It was early in the second quarter that he began to realize that maybe these guys were tired enough and only motivated to close out the game for third place with an appropriate level of intensity. Milwaukee would allow the Raps to open with a 9-0 run before Dewan Hernandez finally knocked down a field goal before MarJon duly ran into Hugo Besson to give Toronto the ball again. Honestly, everything the Bucks did looked really bad, moody and ineffective. In more than seven minutes of play, Milwaukee scored 4 points. I mean…

A Beauchamp three (the only one the team would make in the half) to beat the shot clock and a Sandro Mamukelashvili free throw to close the half kept it within a reasonable 12-point deficit. Bucks down 26-38.

The start of the third quarter was pretty much the same, then rapper/artist Flavor Flav was brought into the broadcast booth for a free-wheeling, free-to-air interview that literally played more any footage of the basketball game happening. There was a 7-0 run in Toronto that viewers at home didn’t see for a second of. Therefore, I have no basketball analysis to offer, but we can all rejoice in Flav revealing that “MarJon Beauchamp has bars.” Exciting!

Vin Baker went with the line-up from all benches to start the fourth quarter, sitting nonchalant starters in favor of a few rating minutes for some of the lesser-played guys. What hurt the most wasn’t dropping 20 points on multiple occasions, but watching DJ Wilson dance like crazy in celebration while his team of jolly Canadian residents put the team that put him to bed. fished out. That’s good Lanky Smoove; Smoove by changing his loyalties.

However, as DJ danced, the Bucks fought back, pulling off a 10-0 run down the back end of the game as if they actually cared and had stakes to look good. The guys started competing for rebounds and driving straight to the Raptors defense to shake things up. Matthew Hurt, Timothy Soares, Marcus Greaves all helped add a few buckets and plenty more energy, but the deficit would prove too much to overcome as the Bucks fell to a final 3-2 record in Vegas.

Bonus Bucks Bits

  • It was by far the worst outing for the starters, especially the guys with ongoing ties to the team after the Summer League. MarJon Beauchamp (7 points, 2 blocks, 1 steal) was mostly negative on offense and didn’t have many memorable moments on defense. Sandro Mamukelashvili (3 points, 9 rebounds) had to be told to allow the other guys to get shot or decided to take a back seat. Lindell Wigginton (11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 turnovers) also struggled to get things done for himself or others.
  • Toronto had 43 three-point attempts to Milwaukee’s 23. What is that? A team coached by Mike Budenholzer or what?
  • I thought Iverson Molinar showed promise, although he was often unable to be present on the defensive end, getting knocked down with just a little contact. I almost would have liked to see Vin lead anyone but the starters through this game just to get a sense of which Summer League bench players might be worth keeping in the larger org structure.
  • No minutes at all for Luca Vildoza who has gone two games in a row without an appearance for the Argentine.
  • Dewan Hernandez was probably the only starter to have positive impacts in line with expectations. 10 points and 7 rebounds while playing in his skills which, at this level, can take you far. That’s probably why he was kept in the lineup while the guys off the Bucks bench did their best to regain a late lead.
  • Noah Eagle and Jim Jackson were on the show today, though they approached it more as a conversational podcast more than anything. I have a hard time remembering them saying anything about the Bucks during 40 minutes of game action. However, the production team managed to make Eagle look pretty good by putting this photo of him from the high school for a minute to a minute and a half (photo credit to site co-overlord Mitchell Maurer):

That wraps things up for the Bucks in Vegas. Although the team finished on a low note, I think there was still a lot to love about this experience. MarJon looked like he had the tools to be something much quicker than expected, Mamu showed up throughout the last 10 days, and Wigginton continued to look worthy of at least a camp deal, if not a deep bench role with the Bucks.

For a few weeks in the desert, that’s not bad at all.

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