Milwaukee Bucks: Summer League Sunday Mailbag

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Travis Trice of the Taipans brings the ball up the court during the game two NBL Semi Final match between the Perth Wildcats and Cairns Taipans at Perth Arena on February 20, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Travis Trice of the Taipans brings the ball up the court during the game two NBL Semi Final match between the Perth Wildcats and Cairns Taipans at Perth Arena on February 20, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) /

Many questions were in the air after the Milwaukee Bucks ugly performance in their first Summer League game. We answered some of them posed on Twitter.

The Milwaukee Bucks looked less than stellar in their first Las Vegas Summer League game, a 82-53 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This game certainly raised more questions than answers about the Bucks SL squad.

To try and answer some of those, I took questions from Bucks fans on Twitter early on Saturday. Here they are, with stabs at answers included. Keep an eye on my own Twitter and the Behind the Buck Pass account if you’d like to get your questions answered, as the site account takes questions for the Win in 6 Podcast mailbag every Monday.

Now, on with the questions!

I really like Edy Tavares. I was always a little unclear on why Atlanta didn’t decide to keep him around last season, and I think the Cavaliers were over the moon to snatch him up right after Andrew Bogut got hurt.

I think Tavares could be a good third center, and an okay backup center if there’s a four playing some five ahead of him. He’s got the size to play in the NBA, that’s for damn sure. In his one game with the Cavs last year, Tavares put up six points, 10 boards and six blocks in 24 minutes.

In 13 total NBA games over the past two seasons, Tavares is shooting over 60 percent from the field and averaging 11.8 points, 11.4 boards, 1.4 assists and 4.3 blocks per 36 minutes. I’d rather have him than some overpriced center, especially with how wing players get paid these days.

I’m not even remotely close to giving up on Thon Maker as a starter. He got bullied by the aforementioned Tavares in the post, but that’s nothing new. Thon’s value isn’t in being a tenacious rebounder or defending huge centers in the post.

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He’ll need to gain weight and get more physical, but the dude is 20 years old and is one year removed from high school basketball. These things take time.

Already in his career Thon has been useful as a floor spacer–the lineup with him, Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo created more space than 90 percent of recorded league-wide lineups.

It’s easy to want everybody to be playing very well because of how good Giannis is, but it’s unfair and unwise to place lofty expectations on a player like Thon because he was thrust into a starting role on a playoff team.

I’m weirdly high on Travis Trice. I gushed about him on my fourth quarter live sidecast on Twitter, despite Trice going three-for-ten from the field and making just one of his four attempted triples.

You’re right though, Trice was active defensively, grabbing three steals and moving the ball well in transition. Gary Payton II was better defensively, but Trice had some moments too.

He looks like a shooter–I think it’s the way he leans forward most of the time. Payton II and Rashad Vaughn were much better than Trice was on Friday, but I’m still interested in buying up TTT (Travis Trice Two) stock. And I’m selling every single share of Tim Kempton stock. Yuck,

I try to not worry about actual performances in Summer League too often, but the one thing that stood out to me about D.J. Wilson is how small he plays. He ended up grabbing five boards, but he seemed more like a wing than a power forward/big guy on Friday.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing–having lots of tall players who can handle the ball is a plus, and despite some hiccups Wilson looked pretty fluid–but I do think Wilson will have to become more physical if he’s going to play at the four.

Jason Kidd joked about Wilson fitting in on this team because he doesn’t rebound. That joke might get less funny as this season carries on, as more physical teams bully Milwaukee on the boards.

There’s no way I’d make it through 100 of those games, that’s for sure. As a team, yeah, the Bucks were terrible. If Vaughn and Payton II didn’t have success from the field Milwaukee might’ve lost by 50. I’d give the Bucks an F, especially because Thon and Wilson were so quiet, and those are the players Bucks fans really want to do well down in Las Vegas.

Good question Griffin. This one is easy to answer: no. The points don’t matter, and Summer League results rarely carry much weight as judgements of players. This is just a chance for rookies and young players to get some more reps in, and it always gets heavily over-analyzed.

There are things that can be taken away from Summer League, but nothing gets written in stone down here. There’s a lot of time before the regular season starts for players to tweak their skills and get ready for real NBA basketball.

Ah, my favorite question. Former Milwaukee Buck Johnny O’Bryant flourished with the Charlotte Hornets Summer League team. My outspoken JOB fandom may sometimes be tongue-in-cheek, but he really can play.

Next: Takeaways from the Bucks Summer League loss to Cleveland

O’Bryant may never be an Opening Night starter, but he should have a job (get it?) in the Association as a backup forward for a while. He’s clearly still working on his game, and it’s awesome to see that pay off, even if the games are completely devoid of meaning right now.