The Milwaukee Bucks wrapped up the 2023 preseason with a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, finishing with a 3-2 record across five contests.
While there were some ups and downs on display in those five games, the takeaways were mostly on the positive side for Milwaukee. Along those lines, there were several players who raised their individual stock in the games as they looked to make their way into the rotation this coming year. That said, let us look at six Milwaukee Bucks who fit the profile.
Malik Beasley raised his stock in the preseason
Malik Beasley was pegged as one of the primary candidates to be Milwaukee’s fifth starter for the new season, but he’d have to earn it. He didn’t get much time alongside the four other penciled-in starters, but Beasley still may have earned the job due to strong play on both sides of the court as he started in every single game for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Offensively, everyone knows Beasley is a tremendous perimeter shooter, which he showcased by knocking down 41.5 percent of his triples on a hefty 8.2 attempts per game. That helped the guard average 12.2 points, Milwaukee’s third-most behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. Again, a good chunk of that came with him not playing alongside other primary core components.
While the outside shooting was largely expected, Beasley’s defense may have helped him lock up the starting spot. Eyebrows were raised when Coach Griffin said that Beasley would be taking on tough defensive assignments every night. Beasley was not a lockdown defender, but he showed a lot of effort and even promise on that side of the ball in these games.
Jae Crowder raised his stock in the preseason
Inking a one-year minimum contract with the Bucks this past off-season, Jae Crowder has a lot to prove this coming season. Everyone knows how last year panned out for the veteran, and his goal now is to bounce back from a lackluster stint with Milwaukee. He got off on the right foot during a four-game preseason showing, having played some solid basketball for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Statistically, Crowder’s numbers were good, having averaged 9.3 points while hitting 48.4 percent of his shots and notching 5.4 rebounds and two assists per contest. Crowder looked confident on both sides of the ball, which produced quality results. He looked more like the Crowder everyone is accustomed to seeing rather than the one who was on the floor for Milwaukee last season.
The one big area that Crowder needs to clean up is his perimeter shooting. He hit just 30 percent of his triples in the preseason. A lot of those looks were open when he was on the court with the duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. During the actual season, he’s got to hit those shots at a more reliable clip, especially if he’s wide-open. Aside from that, Crowder looked good.