Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer League, Bucks-Style

Still catching up on summer news...

The Milwaukee Bucks concluded their five-game Summer League campaign with a 79-67 loss to the Washington Wizards on July 15.

The Bucks jumped out to a 20-9 lead before being undone by a second quarter in which they were outscored 30-13. Performances like that remind us of the bad old days of Milwaukee Bucks basketball.... you know, the 2006-07 season. Yes, the one that finished with Jared Reiner starting at center.

The Bucks concluded their brief campaign at 2-3 overall. Thankfully, Summer League isn’t about team results. After all, Summer League teams don’t even resemble regular season, or (gasp) post-season ones. For the sake of verifying the nothingness of team results: the Knicks glittering 5-0 record.

Individual performances are worth noting however. Unfortunately for the Summer League Bucks, there were no real standout performers by most accounts.

With Earl Boykins out of the picture, an opportunity arises for Lynn Greer to step up this season. He led the team in scoring in Las Vegas, averaging 15.0 points per game in four games. But his .438 field goal percentage against Summer League competition isn’t exactly awe-inspiring. And his equal number of assists and turnovers, 13, further reduces the remaining optimism that he’s poised to become a consistent contributor off the bench for the Bucks, based on this performance anyway. Granted, the four games are a small sample-size, but his play doesn't exactly scream Most Improved Player.

David Noel, Damir Markota, and Ramon Sessions, three others worth keeping an eye on, had mostly up-and-down performances.

Yi Jianlian actually suited up and played five games for Team China Basketball in this competition. In his first game, an 86-77 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, he notched 23 points on 7-15 shooting from the field in 28 minutes. He also made 9-12 from the free-throw line. He did commit seven fouls had seven turnovers however.

It was mostly downhill from there. In his next game he shot 2-14 from the field. Then 3-11. Then 0-6. And finally 1-5. His overall stat line wasn’t pretty.

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