After the first few games of the NBA Summer League, we are starting to see teams shut-down players that they have seen enough from or would like to protect from injury. Other teams are letting their guys go as they try to evaluate their players as much as they can before making roster decisions. Regardless of which team is doing what, these games can still offer excitement, and one of the matchups tonight will feature the Brooklyn Nets taking on the Milwaukee Bucks.
Only a handful of teams remain undefeated up to this point in the event, and one of those teams is the Milwaukee Bucks. With a mix of solid second-year players, intriguing late-round picks, and guys looking for another chance at the league, the Bucks roster is built for a solid run in this event. Through their first two games, second-year player MarJon Beauchamp has led the way in terms of scoring with 21.5 PPG.
Beauchamp has a nice mix of experience and intriguing rookies around him to help him with the scoring and rebounding. Behind Beauchamp when it comes to scoring average are Tyler Cook, who has bounced around the league the past three years, and Nico Mannion, who has spent time in Europe after one season in the NBA. Both players are averaging 11 points per game and have made substantial contributions with their rebounding and passing.
The Nets team that Milwaukee will take on tonight is 1-1 so far in this event and has a roster that is on the younger side, especially compared to the Bucks. Only two players on the team have two years of experience in the NBA, and one of them, Armoni Brooks, is leading the team in scoring with 19 PPG.
Brooklyn’s two draft picks from this recent draft have also shown flashes of potential that should be a welcomed site for Nets fans. Second-round pick out of Kansas, Jalen Wilson, is currently second on the team in both scoring (17.5 PPG) and rebounds (6.5). The Nets' first-round pick, Noah Clowney, has not shot it well through the first two games but is leading the team in rebounds with an average of seven per game.
The Milwaukee Bucks are currently listed as (-2.5) point favorites tonight, and I’ll be backing them for my play. Milwaukee has been one of the most efficient shooting teams in the event, as they rank third in field goal percentage at 48.6%, which is impressive considering the fact that they are shooting 22.9% from three. After a solid first game and rough second game in terms of shooting, I expect guys like Nico Mannion to get back on track tonight.
One area that should prove to be a significant advantage to Milwaukee is rebounding, as they are 7th in the league in rebounds per game this event and now take on a Nets team that has been outrebounded in both their games. Rookie Andre Jackson Jr. has been a force on the glass and poses as a tough matchup for Noah Clowney on both ends of the floor.
Last time out, the Nets played a lackluster Knicks team with a below-average lineup, so the length and experience that Milwaukee has could cause issues on both ends of the floor. If Beauchamp can keep scoring the way he has been, and guys like Nico Mannion shoot it better, I think the Bucks can be 3-0 by the end of the night.
Milwaukee Bucks (-2.5)