Friday, August 1, 2014

Bucks Summer League Ends But Hopes Are High

2014 Bucks Summer League
The Milwaukee Bucks finished Summer League play last week, failing to win more then one game, though giving fans and critics an eager look into the next generation of the team. Led by rookie first round pick Jabari Parker and newly appointed head coach Jason Kidd, the Bucks finished the series of five exhibition games with one win and four losses. The team, coming off of an NBA-worst 67 loss season, were able to defeat the Golden State Warriors in their final game of the tournament, though they fell in their first four match-ups against the likes of Cleveland, Phoenix, Utah, and San Antonio. The 100-to-71 drubbing at the hands of the defending champion Spurs was Milwaukee's worst showing in Las Vegas.

As always is the case with the annual Summer League, critics are focusing on the positives. Second overall pick Parker was under the most intense spotlight of the tournament, starting all five games in what was his first ever professional experience. The former Duke star did not disappoint, managing over 15 points and 8 rebounds per game. The 18-year old even earned the respect of the stoic Kidd, who told reporters following Parker's tournament-high 20 points and 15 rebounds against Golden State that he was looking forward to his progression on the full-roster.

Another stand-out who is also sure to have a place on the Bucks roster come fall is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek native was the talk of the town prior to the draft, though has temporarily fallen into the shadow of Parker. Despite that, the youngster impressed in his four games at the Summer League, putting up an average of 17 points and 6 rebounds.

Antetokounmpo was absent from the Bucks closing game against the Warriors due to duties to the Greek national team, which will compete in August in the FIBA World Cup.

First-year owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens and coach Kidd didn't miss a beat following the conclusion of the Summer League. The team has already signed two high-profile names in the week since, taking former Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall and free agent Jerryd Bayless. 

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