The summer Bucks square off against the Golden State Warriors on Friday seeking their first win in Las Vegas.
Milwaukee fell to the Spurs 100-71 on Wednesday in the first round of the second annual Las Vegas Summer League tournament.
Golden State, last year’s tournament champions, opened preliminary play with victories over Charlotte and Phoenix before falling to the Lakers on a Jordan Clarkson buzzer-beating tip-in. The loss snapped the Warriors’ ridiculous 16-game LVSL winning streak.
In round one of the tournament, the 11th-seeded Warriors fell to winless Atlanta 68-65.
The 0-4 Bucks enter Friday’s finale on the heels of three consecutive double-digit defeats. Wednesday’s tournament opener was a disaster – on the scoreboard, at least – with the Spurs jumping out to a 20-point halftime advantage. Milwaukee turned things around in the second half, but at that point the Spurs had already put the game away.
Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined for 36 points and 11 boards but neither recorded an assist and both struggled with ball security, committing seven and six turnovers, respectively.
Heading into the Golden State matchup, the focus will again be on the two young wings – er, wing and point guard? Giannis has seen extensive time at the point in Vegas, and that trend figures to continue Friday, as the Bucks appear to be quite serious about transitioning him to the position during the regular season.
Jason Kidd even balked at a reporter calling Giannis a “point forward” earlier in the week, insisting instead that he refer to him as a “point guard.”
Here’s what Kidd had to say about point guard Giannis:
“We’ve seen it in practice, and so when you see a player’s comfort level with the ball no matter what size, we want to see it in game action and we slowly have started letting him have the ball and running the offense,” said Kidd, bound for the Hall of Fame as a point guard.
“With the group we have right now, with B-Knight and Giannis, we have additional playmakers and when we have that on the floor, it makes the game easy. We’ll see how the roster shakes out, but we’re not afraid to play him at the point, as you see.”
The Bucks certainly weren’t afraid to play him at the point against San Antonio, and Giannis clearly relishes the increased playmaking responsibility. He’s eager to receive outlet passes and flourishes as the transition ball-handler, whether he’s attacking the rim or kicking to perimeter shooters.
Looking ahead to Friday’s game, which tips at 3:30p.m. CT. (5:30 local time)
Golden State’s roster:
Stats through four Vegas games:
A few pre-game notes:
– Justin Holiday – Jrue’s brother – has easily been Golden State’s best player. After a two-point effort in the LVSL opener, he’s scored 29, 26 and 15 in the last three, while shooting nearly 37 percent from three.
– Kiwi Gardner has only played three total minutes thus far. That needs to change – if only for entertainment sake.
– Both teams have been pretty gross from beyond the arc. Milwaukee is just 14-of-64 (21.8%) as a team, while Golden State is 18-of-66 (27.2%).
– Will Ben Brust get on the board? He’s the only Bucks player yet to score.
– The Elite 8: