Larry Sanders and the Bucks will look to finish the preseason on a high note after defeating New York on Wednesday.
Editor’s note: This piece was written by Behind the Buck Pass contributor Henry Russo. Henry is a senior at Marquette University and can be found on Twitter @HankRusso.
The Milwaukee Bucks are heading back south from Green Bay to host their final preseason game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Friday.
Fresh off their first preseason victory the Bucks will face the Toronto Raptors (6-1). Though the Raptors record is impressive, achieving this type of success once the regular season starts is highly unlikely. However, Toronto’s two leading scorers from last season, Rudy Gay and Demar DeRozan, present a high-flying attack that could provide many challenges at the rim for Larry Sanders and John Henson. Like most preseason games, this one has many variables as teams look toward the regular season. Here are three things to watch for once the game tips off:
Final Roster Spots on the Line
This last preseason game may be the last chance for fringe players to convince Larry Drew and the front office that they should be on the Bucks roster. The players people should keep an eye on are Olek Czyz, Stephan Graham, and Trey McKinney Jones. For these players ,and many guys around the league, these last couple of games could be the difference between a season in the NBA or other leagues around the globe.
The Bucks look to continue to build their cohesiveness on both the offensive and defensive ends. Offensively, Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo have struggled playing together. If Knight once again sits out with a leg injury it would be a lost opportunity of improvement for what will most likely be the Bucks starting backcourt. Luke Ridnour played very well against the Knicks, registering a double-double, however the Bucks should not expect that kind of performance out of Ridnour consistently.
Two Milwaukee-area natives and Marquette University alums are back at the Bradley Center where they played their college home games. Steve Novak is the bigger name of the two. This season he’ll bring his superior three point shooting skills north of the border after spending last season with the New York Knicks. The other former Golden Eagle on the Raptors is rookie Dwight Buycks. Though there was very little interest in Buycks coming out of college, he made a name for himself in the D-League and was even the MVP of the top league in France. He played for Oklahoma City’s Vegas Summer League squad and impressed the Raptors so much they offered him a guaranteed deal. Both of these players should expect a warm response from the fans in attendance.