There was plenty of excitement about the Milwaukee Bucks’ Summer League roster leading up to their opening game against the Denver Nuggets, and they didn’t disappoint.
After trailing for most of the game, the Bucks kicked it into high gear late and went on a huge run en route to a 92-85 win. Several players helped fuel the team’s late-game efforts, and let us look at a few key observations regarding those players.
Key notes from Bucks’ thrilling NBA Summer League win over Nuggets
It was a sluggish first half for MarJon Beauchamp. The wing looked a bit lost and timid, oftentimes settling for shots rather than being aggressive. He had four points on 2-for-9 shooting at the half. Knowing he had to be better, the sophomore flipped the switch entirely and went off in the second half, tallying 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-3 from deep. He finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal. What Beauchamp showcased in the second half was very encouraging. The Bucks envision him playing a much larger role in year two, and seeing him put his skills on display was quite encouraging.
While Beauchamp stole the show, the point guards also dazzled. Since Jevon Carter signed with the Chicago Bulls recently, fans have been asking who will be Milwaukee’s backup point guard next season. Rather than signing an external free agent, it appears the front office may want to take a look in-house first, and understandably so after the performances from this game.
Starting guard Nico Mannion was great, having scored 16 points on 50 percent shooting, despite hitting just one of his six attempts from deep. He also notched four rebounds, three assists, and two steals to put together an incredibly complete game. Off the bench, Jazian Gortman often gave Mannion a breather, and he also performed very well in his limited minutes. In a mere 12 minutes, the 20-year-old showed off his confidence by scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. One game is not going to determine whether or not these two make Milwaukee’s roster, but they are certainly worth keeping an eye on as the Bucks look to fill their point guard vacancy.
Milwaukee’s second round picks from the 2023 NBA Draft, Andre Jackson Jr. and Chris Livingston, were also impressive. Jackson struggled to find his shot, having shot just 2-of-8, but he impacted the game elsewhere, having finished with a game-high six assists, three rebounds, and a steal. It would be hard to forget his two blocks as well, which he got during a thrilling sequence late in the contest, having showcased his elite athleticism.
Livingston did not have the flashiest performance, but his hustle and tenacity were on display on the court. He finished with seven points, but the more eye-catching stat was his six rebounds. He was constantly battling down low for boards, and the 6-foot-6 wing would not be denied. Hustle and grit like that is exactly what this Milwaukee team needs.
Tyler Cook also impressed, having totaled eight points, eight rebounds, three assists, and a steal and was a game-high +24 off of the bench.
It was a great win for the Bucks, and they will be back in action tonight against the Phoenix Suns; it will be interesting to see how they follow up their most recent performance.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks Summer League action.