Following draft night on June 25th, Bucks’ general manager John Hammond must have been excited about the upcoming year. After trading last year’s most consistent starter, Richard Jefferson, and letting fan favorite and starting power forward Charlie Villanueva walk away, it was clear the team was moving in a different more youthful direction.
The additions of Amir Johnson as well as Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks through the draft gave the front office a positive attitude heading into the future.
Throw in Joe Alexander, an athletic forward who showed promise and a lot of athleticism at time last year, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute from last year’s draft class, and this was a team worth getting excited about.
One week and five summer games later, Hammond must be feeling even more excited.
The Bucks finished up their Summer League mini-season Thursday with a last-second loss to the Toronto Raptors. It marked the fifth game in Las Vegas for the Bucks who finished a very respectable four and one on the trip. Here’s an recap of the week that was.
Game One: Bucks 65, Mavs 59
Both the Bucks and Mavs showed a good amount of rust in the first game for each team, with the Bucks pulling away down the stretch. Meeks and Alexander led the Bucks with 14 points each and Brandon Jennings put in 10 points of his own.
Both teams matched up fairly evenly the whole game, but the big difference was at the charity stripe where the Mavs shot just 56.5 percent (13-23) compared to the Bucks 75 percent (18-24).
Game Two: Bucks 80, Cavaliers 69
The two teams stayed neck and neck in the first half before the Bucks went on a 25-3 run in the third quarter to pull away from the Cavs in the second Summer League game.
The star of the night was Jennings who had 23 points and eight assists to go along with five steals on the night.
The Bucks played arguably their most efficient game of the summer, turning the ball over just 10 times compared to 23 Cavalier turnovers. Alexander struggled from the field for the second straight game while Meeks shot lights out for 16 points, including eight in the decisive third quarter.
Game Three: Bucks 91, Kings 86
Alexander finally broke out of his shooting slump to score 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting while adding a team-high seven rebounds. Jennings showed off an array of talent that led to 13 points, 14 assists, and seven steals.
Jennings, the 10th overall pick in the NBA draft, improved his statline for the third straight game as he seems to get more and more comfortable with the NBA. It was the best game offensively for the Bucks who won their third straight game of the summer.
Meeks continued his tear with 20 points shooting 8-12 from the field.
The Bucks matched up against two familiar faces in Marquette’s Wesley Matthews and Jerel McNeal. Matthews poured in 14 points while McNeal added two of his own.
Game Four: Bucks 87, Bulls 72
The Bucks won their fourth consecutive game of the Summer League in their most spread out fashion as four players scored in double figures. Johnson posted his best line of the week with 17 points and eight rebounds against some pretty stout talent in James Johnson and Taj Gibson.
Jennings posted 14 points and nine assists against the border rivals and Meeks went for 16 points.
The Bucks led for the majority of the game which allowed reserve Will McDonald to log 18 minutes of his own. He made the most of it, scoring nine points and dishing out five assists.
Game Five: Raptors 84, Bucks 83
The Bucks were one shot by Quincy Douby away from ending the Summer League with a perfect 5-0 record, but fell to the Raptors in the league finale.
Meeks stayed red hot this summer, scoring 29 points on 12-23 shooting, including four from downtown. Alexander finished up nicely, scoring 14 points on 7-14 shooting for the Bucks.
Jennings struggled to take care of the ball as he committed eight turnovers, but finished the game with 13 points and seven assists.
Meeks was awarded first team All-Summer League honors after his performance in the game and wowed many Bucks’ front office personell.
Tomorrow player breakdowns can be found right here.
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