Milwaukee dropped to 0-2 in the preseason with a foul-filled loss to the Timberwolves last night in which six Bucks players had more than four fouls. The team as a whole shot better last night, making 47.4% of its shots (6-13 from 3 point range), and had a nice distribution of scoring with John Henson leading the team with 16 points. In the end, though, it was the aforementioned fouls (the Timberwolves almost doubled the Bucks in free throw attempts, 33-17) and 23 turnovers that doomed Milwaukee.
Henson looked good last night on offense and defense, using his best natural ability (so much length) to his advantage. On offense he had a nice tip slam off of a Larry Sanders miss and soared high in the air to slam home an alley-oop from O.J. Mayo. He also broke out a Mikan-esque hook shot that made me wish Henson played in John Stockton-length shorts. On defense he was able to disrupt some passing lanes and generally held his own against a good scoring Minnesota front line. His one major miscue was a missed fast break finger roll in which it looked like he timed his steps wrong.
Butler couldn’t miss early on, starting out 4-of-4 from the field, which contributed to Milwaukee getting out to an early 17-7 lead. Though most of the shots were long two-point attempts, Butler was making them look easy. He wasn’t very active after that on the offensive end finishing 5-of-6 for the game, but the way he started out was very encouraging for the Bucks. It was just one game, but if Butler can shoot well while accepting a diminished role, the Bucks will be in good shape at small forward this season.
Getting the nod here mostly because he got the start playing in front of the hometown crowd (the game was played in Sioux Falls, SD) and he acquitted himself well. He made 3-of-5 shots and looked like he could be a future bench contributor for the Bucks down the road. It still looks like he will get limited minutes this season, but if Gary Neal plays poorly or there’s an injury in the backcourt we might get to see some of Wolters in the regular season.
It’s not that Sanders had a bad game when he was on the court, but it’s frustrating to see him in foul trouble yet again. Sanders picked up three fouls in the first six minutes, which limited his playing time for the game. The refs were calling a lot of fouls, but for a player who has had trouble staying on the court anyways it would be nice to see him make a concerted effort to foul less. It’s only preseason so this isn’t too much of a concern yet, but it ‘s something to watch going forward.
Learning to spell and pronounce Giannis Antetokounmpo update of the game
It was a somewhat rough game for Giannis, as he finished with seven turnovers and five fouls. He tip-slammed a ball while it was still on the rim and had a few more problems with traveling on the perimeter. But there were some bright spots, including another fantastic block on a fast break. He also had a great euro-step bucket in transition on a play that showed how scary he can be in the open floor. It’s pretty clear at this point that he needs a lot more experience ,and Larry Drew recognizes this, playing him for a team high 28 minutes. The signs are encouraging, but if the season started right now Antetokounmpo would probably do more bad than good for this Bucks team.