Takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks preseason opener

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 21: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 21: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks opened their        game preseason schedule with a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Milwaukee Bucks held a lead late in the game but the lead slipped away thanks to a 41 point fourth quarter by the Grizzlies. The Milwaukee Bucks were playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Wesley Matthews. Also, on the subject of the starters, Grayson Allen has changed numbers from 7 to 12.

Let’s look at some takeaways from the preseason opening loss.

Takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks preseason opener: Jordan Nwora off to a good start earning his contract

Jordan Nwora was in the starting lineup for the Milwaukee Bucks for their first preseason game and made the most of it. Nwora signed a two year contract extension just before training camp began worth about $3 million per year.

Jordan Nwora finished the game against the Grizzlies with a team high 21 points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal. Nwora did finish this contest with four turnovers as well, an Achilles heel of his that may be something that keeps him from getting consistent playing time.

Nwora did shoot a pretty decent 7-for-15 on field goals meanwhile 2-for-6 does leave a little to be desired from the 3-point line. Nwora also made 5-of-7 free throws. Nwora hit shots from all three levels, finish obviously the two 3-point shots, he finished a few tough layups around the rim, threw down a few dunks and made some mid-range shots as well. That three level scoring is something Nwora could continue to hone his skills on and could help him crack the rotation even on nights where the Milwaukee Bucks are completely healthy.

Takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks preseason opener: Sandro Mamukelashvili shouldn’t be on a two-way contract anymore

Sandro Mamukelashvili was one of the stars of the Milwaukee Bucks summer league team, Mamu followed that up with a very strong individual showing during the Eurobasket tournament and now in the preseason opener contributed off the bench for the Bucks.

In 21 minutes, Sandro Mamukelashvili scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, solid considering he made just 1-of-5 3-point attempts, made both of his free throws and added four rebounds and three assists. Like Nwora, Mamu did struggle a bit with turnovers, committing three.

That said, Mamu is showing a strong capability to be an offensive contributor from the center or even the power forward position, having Mamu on the floor next to Brook Lopez or Serge Ibaka could be an interesting combination of size that would allow the Bucks to cover for Mamu defensively while allowing him to help the offense.

Takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks preseason opener: Young players need polish

The two young players, Nwora and Mamukelashvili, along with rookie MarJon Beauchamp definitely have to polish their games, the three prospects combined for 11 turnovers out of the Bucks 23 total turnovers. If any of the three of them want to see consistent minutes they’ll need to remedy that part of their games.

Nwora and Mamu did contribute solid offensive games outside of their turnovers and Beauchamp had a breakaway dunk that his strides looked Antetokounmpo-esque before throwing down a strong dunk. Beauchamp’s other two points came at the free throw line. That said Beauchamp did use his athleticism to secure six rebounds.

Takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks preseason opener: Starters are a bit rusty

A bit of rust is to be expected starting in the first preseason game and none of the Bucks perceived starters, Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Bobby Portis (should Khris Middleton not be ready for the season opener) and Brook Lopez played more than 20 minutes. That said the four of them combined to shoot 13-for-31 on field goals, 41.9 percent, certainly lower than they would like to shoot.

That said Allen, Lopez and Holiday shot 5-of-11 from the 3-point line, with Allen making 3-of-6. Bobby Portis did not attempt a 3-point shot, which speaks to his comments about thanking the Boston Celtics for showing what he needed to improve in his game which was remaining a scoring threat when run off the 3-point line.

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The Milwaukee Bucks next preseason game is Thursday against the Atlanta Hawks in Abu Dhabi.