NBA League Pass finally gave me a chance to watch a Milwaukee Bucks game and see #2 pick Jabari Parker in action. The Bucks took on the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, the Bucks are 1-2 in the preseason and the Cavs are 2-0.
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson all weren’t playing for the Cavs and Jason Kidd decided to start Giannis Antetokounmpo at the point guard position. Larry Sanders and Brandon Knight were not playing for the Bucks.
The starters for the Bucks were: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia
The starters for the Cavs were: Matthew Dellavedova, Shawn Marion, Anderson Varejao, Kevin Love and Dion Waiters.
Kevin Love got scoring underway in the game with a three pointer, Khris Middleton got the Bucks on the board with a baseline jumper.
Jabari Parker got on the board, hitting one of two from the charity stripe after a Shawn Marion foul.
Fair bit of a height difference between Antetokounmpo and Dellavedova at the point guard spot, not too many 6’11” point guards going around…
With 4:47 left in the first quarter, Kevin Love got hit and made the three point shot and converted a four point play.
When the starters left the court for Milwaukee they seemed to lose all offense, even though the players in the game (Bayless, Mayo, Dudley) are all offensive players.
That changed slightly after a timeout taken by the Bucks, Dudley came back with a couple of made three’s.
At the end of the first, the Cavaliers had the lead over the Bucks 31-27 – Love with 12pts for the Cavs, Dudley with 9pts for the Bucks.
Nate Wolters started the scoring in the second quarter, with a scoop shot off the glass for the Bucks. OJ Mayo followed that up with a two of his own to tie it up at 31-31.
Dellavedova was doing a great job of getting his teammates involved with five early assists for the Cavs.
All the starters returned, with the exception of Parker, for the Bucks with about 8mins to go in the half, Antetokounmpo still running the point.
Love continued his good shooting form, hitting another three and moving to 15pts. That makes it 4/5 from deep for Love so far in this game. A few minutes later he hit yet another three, 5/6 now for Love from deep!
With 1:50 remaining in the half, the refs called for an Official Review of….something. There didn’t look to even be a foul on the play that they were reviewing. Turns out there was an off-the-ball foul committed by James Jones.
At the end of the first half the Bucks had the lead by 2pts, 53-51. Love had 18pts for the Cavs and Dudley still led the way for the Bucks with 9pts but had been joined by Henson.
Antetokounmpo got his first points of the game and the first points of the second half via the free throw line. Not the most flattering of statlines for the “Greek Freak” at this point of the game – 2pts, 1rbd and 5 fouls in 14mins.
Love banged knees with his Bucks defender as he hit a tough floater to get the Cavs scoring underway in the second half, he was wincing for a minute or two afterwards but showed no real trouble.
Both teams are doing a whole lot of one-on-one dribbling in this quarter, very little ball movement from either team.
With 6:27 remaining in the third, Waiters hit a three to bring his points total to 18, trying his best to catch up to Kevin Love. About 30secs later he hits another three and the Cavs put on a bit of a run to lead by 5pts, causing Jason Kidd to call a timeout.
There was another clash of knees, this time involving Varejao and Ilyasova. Varejao, who has had plenty of knee issues in the past, didn’t cope as well as Love did earlier in the game and had to be subbed out. Doesn’t look to have suffered any long term injury though.
Just before the buzzer at the end of the third, Dudley hit his fifth three of the night to lead the Bucks with 15pts.
At the end of three, the Cavs lead 81-79 with Kevin Love leading the way with 25pts.
Mike Miller got the scoring underway in the final quarter with a three point shot, would expect nothing less from Miller.
Ilyasova finally hit a jump shot, making him 2/7 from the field in this game to this point. He then hits another, two in a row for Ilyasova.
Chris Crawford finished an and-1 opportunity after being fouled by OJ Mayo and sinking the jumper.
The Bucks looked to get away with a kicked ball and it resulted in Parker going on a solo run down the court for the easy dunk.
The Cavs then had another small run that stretched the lead out to 8pts as we neared the end of the game. AJ Price, knocking down multiple three’s for the Cavs.
In the end the Cavs win 106-100, Kevin Love leading the way with 25pts, 4rbds and 2asts.
Dion Waiters and Kevin Love dominated the Bucks in this one, both shooting pretty well from the three point line too.
Antetokounmpo failed in his first full game of running the point for his team. He went 0/5 from the field but got 4/4 from the free throw line to finish with 4pts, 4rbds, 0asts, 0stls, 1blk, 1 turnover and 5 fouls.
Dellavedova and Bayless did a great job, for the Cavs and Bucks respectively, of setting their teammates up for shots and the Cavs had plenty of fast-breaks, outlet passes and transition buckets in this game and it’s only going to get better for them with James and Irving back in the team. The Bucks really did miss Brandon Knight and Larry Sanders in this one, plus it was quite clear just how far Ersan Ilyasova has fallen over the past couple of seasons – he is looking like a shell of the player from a couple of seasons ago when he tore it up with points and boards.