Game In Review: Milwaukee Bucks @ Cleveland Cavaliers – October 13.


Starting Lineups

Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Carter-Williams, Greivis VasquezKhris Middleton, Damien Inglis, Greg Monroe

Cleveland Cavaliers: Mo Williams, Matthew DellavedovaRichard Jefferson, James Jones, Sasha Kaun

After two straight defeats to open up their pre-season play, the Milwaukee Bucks headed to Ohio to face off against their divisional rivals the equally winless Cleveland Cavaliers.

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The Bucks and Cavaliers had some nice battles last season, but the lineups in this game meant that it would take on a very different look.

For Milwaukee, Jason Kidd took the decision to rest Giannis Antetokounmpo for this game, although the decision was a lot less controversial than the last time Kidd stepped The Greek Freak down for a game against Cleveland. After a long summer of basketball with the Greek national team, the Bucks are aiming to ensure Antetokounmpo is fresh for the start of the regular season.

On the other side of the court, Cleveland likely planned to rest LeBron James, but he was sent home from the arena due to illness prior to the game anyway. Timofey Mozgov was also rested, while Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Iman Shumpert are still a way off returning due to injury.

That wasn’t to stop the Cavs from making a fast start though. Cleveland started the game off with a 9-0 run, something which Milwaukee would in fact allow them to replicate at the start of the second half.

A combination of early fouls, and disorganized offense allowed Cleveland to enjoy that head-start as every Bucks shot seemed to hit the front of the rim.

In fact, there was very little evidence of structured offense or real play calling until John Henson came into the game and set a great screen for a Michael Carter-Williams jump shot at the 6:50 mark.

Speaking of Henson, he was full of energy in this game, but most importantly of all he was showing intelligence on both ends of the floor too. Henson is renowned for his shot-blocking abilities, and his outstanding timing gave everybody a reminder with two strong blocks in a short period of time in the first.

It wasn’t just Henson either, as rookie Rashad Vaughn continued his good work with big time contributions off the bench too. At the end of the first, Vaughn had seven points on 3-4 shooting to go with Henson’s four points, five boards and two blocks.

The Bucks started the second quarter with slightly greater pace, and transition seemed to be an emphasis for them throughout this encounter.

There were surprises aplenty in store too. Khris Middleton struggled to bounce back from his early fouling out in the previous game against Detroit, as his shot was completely off in this one. Johnny O’Bryant on the other hand showed some positives with improved strength allowing him to score inside. Henson’s free-throw shooting was flawless as he went 6-6 in the half also.

Oct 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova (8) in the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Bucks may have trailed on the scoreboard at the interval, they were dominant on the glass, which was not something they were accustomed to last year. A 31-21 margin in their favor was extremely welcome.

After their slow second half start, Milwaukee quickly began to look in a much better flow. Fouls were still a problem, as Milwaukee landed in the penalty within the first two minutes, but they would settle down and take control.

Greg Monroe showed his full variety of post moves, as the Bucks shifted the emphasis towards their newly acquired option to put a run together in the third quarter. Monroe displayed spins, shimmies and shakes en route to his first double-double as a Buck.

Milwaukee entered the final quarter trailing by three, but the bench quickly took over to turn the game around. Bayless showed a sharpness with his steals and three-point range, while O.J. Mayo caught fire in the fashion that only he can. Juice had 12 points including 10 in the fourth quarter, but most impressive was his 10 assists to go with them.

Johnny O’Bryant continued to show his combination of improved physicality and touch inside with a handful of buckets in the final period too. While continuing the story of the pre-season so far, Rashad Vaughn was red-hot showing the talent and maturity of a player well beyond his 19 years of age.

He tied Greg Monroe with a game-high 19 points, most impressively doing so while shooting 3-6 from deep

Bucks’ second unit looks ready for the season, and they delivered the Bucks their first pre-season win.

101. 156. 110. 89. Final

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