The Milwaukee Bucks just keep getting the better of the Brooklyn Nets, as they win their inaugural Summer League game, 94-90. Despite falling into a 14-3 hold of despair to start the game, a hot-shooting streak from outside the arc helped Vin Baker’s squad take a 21-20 lead after one. A last second forced-up triple by MarJon Beauchamp happened to rattle in near the end of two, as the Bucks staked a 44-40 advantage by half. The Bucks looked in control after three and early in the fourth, but the Nets blitzed Milwaukee and got themselves into a nail biter down the stretch. Some clutch buckets from Sandro Mamukelashvili and Beauchamp closed it out though, despite Milwaukee’s best attempts at giving the game away.
Beauchamp ended with 16 points on 6-12 shooting, including 3-6 from three, while Mamu had 17 points on 6-12 shooting to go with five boards and two assists, including 4-5 from deep.
Bonus Bucks Bits
- MarJon Beauchamp got a proper introduction to Summer League with a chance to guard the co-MVP of last year, Cam Thomas, right off the bat. Despite Thomas hitting some tough jumpers early, I thought he held his own well and contested without fouling. Some of his physicality started to result in fouls in the second period though. Later on, he shadowed Thomas excellently though and even managed to force him into a travel as he tried to pivot in the lane.
- He showed off some of his defensive weakside instincts with two different helping blocks for his teammates who had gotten beat off the dribble.
- One of the knocks on Beauchamp coming out was that he didn’t have a preternatural feel for the offensive end in terms of his passing. That bore out early, when he made a few decent attempts driving past defenders but threw up shoddy interior passes that were easily deflected and ensnared by the Nets. Overall, I thought he looked up and down trying to drive, with what looks like a fairly loose handle and occasional brain farts like poor passes as the inbounder or gambling too much to one ballhandler’s side. Overall though, the pluses outweighed the minuses easily.
- Oh Mamu. He looked pretty out of sorts early, despite making a whirling dervish pass to MarJon on the perimeter, and it might’ve been partically because he didn’t have the ball in his hands nearly as much as last year. He was doing a lot more off-ball, and didn’t look nearly as comfortable trying to drive. The most important takeaway for him though was to see his three-ball fall quite frequently after he just could not hit one to save his life in Vegas last year. He ended with
- Our first glimpse of the fabled Mamu-Luca pick-and-roll was just the golden goose we all anticipated going in; on a picturesque pocket pass, Mamu collected it in stride and got fouled for a trip to the line. He went 1-2, but it felt like he went 2-2.
- AJ Green, Milwaukee’s other two-way, may have a very rigid form (it actually reminds me of Rashad Vaughn a bit), but he nailed his first four(!) triples, including a wild transition pull-up. Where was this guy in Game Seven?
- MarJon looked hesitant to shoot from outside, but when he finally launched his first three in the second, splish splash! Cam Thomas went under the screen and he pulled up with confidence. From then on, he definitely tried out his dribble pull-up game, and largely looked fairly uncomfortable with it. He also had an airball three late. This is the time to try that stuff out though.
- You gotta admire Luca Vildoza, who when tossed out there with mostly scrubs in the second, proceeded to launch two wildly off three-point attempts he had no business taking. Showcase away my guy.
- Apparently Lindell Wigginton acquitted himself well enough to earn another roster spot — shoutout to Horst for feeling a little frisky and just pulling the trigger at halftime. He did have 17 points and seven assists for the game.
- It’s probably a good thing Huge Besson will spend another year overseas, because when I watched him, despite being 6’5”, he struck me as a high schooler out there.
- Late in the third, Beauchamp got a pass in transition and attacked off a wild closeout from a Nets player. From there, he actually looked fairly under control as he finished through contact. He was a solid finisher at the rim in the G League, so it had to be heartening to Horst to see him attack the basket like that and convert.
- An important reminder: reviews in Summer League should be banned.
- Another Beauchamp observation that was part of his scouting report coming out: he grabbed an offensive board and quickly converted late in the fourth.
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