With Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and Khris Middleton all missing the first two games of the Milwaukee Bucks’ preseason slate, the team’s depth has been on full display.
In both games, a come-from-behind victory over the Chicago Bulls and a subpar shooting showing against the Memphis Grizzlies, two players who have made strong impressions are Malik Beasley and Jae Crowder. The veterans, who have both started in the two games, look like pieces who can help this team win games on a nightly basis due to their respective skill sets.
Beasley, Crowder catching eyes in Milwaukee Bucks’ 2 preseason games
Of course, two games is a small sample size to judge any player, but it’s great to see these players make a positive impact when they are on the court.
Beasley has looked fine on the offensive end, tallying 12 points per game while shooting a decent 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) from deep. Everyone knows he’s a sharpshooter from the perimeter, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs when he’s on the court with better floor spacing alongside players like Antetokounmpo and Lillard.
While the offensive output was largely expected, Beasley has made his mark on defense as well. Coach Griffin recently made interesting comments about Beasley taking on tough assignments defensively, and it seems like the guard took that as a challenge. He’s been incredibly active on defense in these two games, tallying three steals while playing pretty solid all-around defense.
If Beasley can legitimately become a nice two-way player, his chances of locking up the team’s starting shooting guard slot will only grow.
Another candidate to take the fifth starting slot is Crowder, who has also played well on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he’s looked aggressive, averaging 12 points while hitting 55.6 percent of his shots and 36.4 percent of his triples. The veteran has also looked nice defensively, pestering his opponents whenever he gets the chance.
The Bucks will need both of these players at their best this season. Beasley’s perimeter shooting and possible defense could make a massive difference. Crowder could be the team’s new big wing defender, and if he’s indeed able to bounce back from a down year last year, he could end up being one of the most important role players on this team.
The true test everyone is waiting for is to see how these two fit alongside the Big 3, and there’s a good chance fans will get to see that at some point during the remainder of the preseason.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis this preseason.