The Milwaukee Bucks finally returned to action for preseason basketball against the Chicago Bulls.
Milwaukee was far from full strength, as the Big 3 of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard (still crazy to say), and Khris Middleton all sat out. Chris Livingston, Cameron Payne, and A.J. Green did not play either, meaning Milwaukee’s depth would have to step up mightily vs. a Bulls team that was playing most of their key components.
Milwaukee Bucks’ depth showcases potential in preseason win over Bulls
Above all else, it seemed like most eyes would be glued on sophomore wing MarJon Beauchamp in this one, as he’s been the talk of the town this off-season. Surprisingly, he did not even start, but it did not matter, as Beauchamp still clocked in a game-high 18 points. Four of those points came in the closing minutes of the game, where he delivered on four clutch free throw attempts.
Another youngster who is expected to see action for the Bucks this year is Andre Jackson Jr., who also put interesting film on tape in this one. Tallying four points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one blocked shot, Jackson did a little bit of everything, including guard DeMar DeRozan, one of the smoothest scorers in the game today. Jackson’s potential as a player looms large.
Two veteran role players who came to play were Jae Crowder and Malik Beasley, both starters. Crowder logged 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, draining two of his four attempts from long range. Beasley showcased the prolific shooting that has helped him make a name for himself in the NBA, having scored 13 points on 3-of-7 shooting from deep.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo got in on the action as well, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds, and two blocked shots in this game. As always, his energy was evident, as Antetokounmpo’s presence was felt on both ends. Brook Lopez, who played less than 13 minutes, looked spry with 11 points, nine of which came from 3-point territory.
It would be foolish not to mention Drew Timme, who logged less than four minutes but had the most important bucket of the night on a putback with 29 seconds left to put the Bucks up two.
Ultimately, it’s great to see the Bucks kick off the preseason with a victory, especially when they were able to pull it off despite being so shorthanded. Jackson and Beauchamp are two players to keep a close eye on throughout the rest of the preseason, as they have incredible potential to be meaningful contributors nightly if they can keep this up.
It’ll be interesting to see how everyone fits when/if the Bucks play their Big 3 and the other depth pieces during the rest of the preseason.
The Milwaukee Bucks will be back in action on Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies.