Giannis, Bucks Made Statement in Preseason Finale


While technically the Bucks preseason concluded against Minnesota Friday night, you’ll have to excuse them for thinking it was another green and cream scrimmage. That’s because Mike Budenholzer‘s shrewd three-point adjustment led to a barrage of 25 threes and Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s triple-double. When the nets finally stopped waving, Milwaukee concluded the preseason with a 143-121 triumph.

Giannis and Threes Bury Wolves

Behind Giannis’s 32 points, 12 boards, 10 assists and three steals, the Wolves could only board their flight while shaking heads. And the Bucks superfan section alerted the Forum with “triple-double”, a fact the mega-scoreboard quickly confirmed.

Giannis even greeted Minnesota with his mean face in the third. (Unfortunately the referee rather rudely hit him with a T, earning a serenade of boos.) The new emphasis on threes has proved brilliant in the preseason. Budenholzer managed to integrate the shot and corresponding perimeter passing in an authentic manner, and not just a Warriors copycat. It didn’t feel like a traditional rout when the margin reached 30. However, the huge volumes of shots greatly padded the scoring. Considering the contrast to the Bucks’ longstanding paint-clog game, many observers, including this author, were amazed.

To make the night even better, the Bucks wrote a huge check for the MACC (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) fund, presented by a proud Jon McGlocklin. Although the crowd size was modest, this left an impression as well.

Authentic Excitement

The NBA world has moved on from big post men and physical roughhousing. Just in time for a new era, Milwaukee adapted rapidly. The Heat and Cavs seemed to have set a bad example for the east with rugged post play, enabled by the muscular LeBron James. Therefore, the Bucks could have a huge advantage over more stubborn east opponents. The Bucks haven’t finished in the top four or won a playoff series since 2001. Starting Wednesday, a torrent of threes can begin to wash away that disappointment.

About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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