The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to dress up in their uniforms and play basketball at Quicken Loans Arena and be mostly serious about playing another team in the National Basketball Association. That team is the Milwaukee Bucks. Eric Buenning of the SB Nation Bucks blog BrewHoop was nice enough to reach out to me about putting together a brief preview of our respective teams. Here is what he had to say about the Bucks:
Meet the Bucks: Cavs kick off 2013-2014 season
Real basketball! Or at least something approaching it! Either way, it's the first preview of 2013-14, so let's meet the Bucks!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
PG- Brandon Knight
SG- OJ Mayo
SF- Caron Butler
PF- Ersan Ilyasova
C- Larry Sanders
The Bucks brought in 11 new players this summer, as well as an entirely new coaching staff. Hell, they're even having Bucks legend SIdney Moncrief join the television broadcast as a color analyst for the majority of road games. Everything is changing.
It's difficult to say what Bucks fans will see tomorrow, but coach Larry Drew has stressed that it will be different. This installment of the team will look to pressure the ball, both offensively and defensively. Each day, Drew has numbers plastered about the Bucks practice facility, in an effort to drill the team's goals into the player's minds. So far, numbers have included 43% (defensive field goal percentage), 4 (as in seconds it will take for the team to get the ball across half court, make or miss), and 46% (offensive field goal percentage). In short, Drew wants a mobile, fast, and smart offense with an active and pesky defense. It's not going to be polished by tonight, but that's what we'll be looking for come tip-off.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks definitely have a lot of unknowns that will suit up tonight, but none more so than the 18 year-old kid out of Greece. Selected by the Bucks with the 15th pick of this year's draft without playing against any really formidable opposition, Antetokounmpo is about as big of an unknown as there is.
Having not played against any top (or even middle)-tier talent, Antetokounmpo showed the flashes of brilliance that had been talked about in the Bucks open practice at their inaugural fan fest this past weekend. Though he still has miles to go before completely tapping into that potential, Antetokounmpo has proven he belongs, whenever that may be. He'll see his handful of minutes in the preseason, with Carlos Delfino out (ankle) for the entire preseason. I can't say what you'll see out of him, but hey, it's at least something.
Outside of the massive overhaul this team has had, the next biggest question has been whether Brandon Knight is a ''true'' point guard. His past numbers haven't been particularly sunny, but Larry Drew has been known to get the best out of his point guards (see: Jeff Teague).
I'm interested to see how he handles the position early on. He hasn't handled pick and rolls well in his first few seasons, but did okay during the scrimmage. Now against another team, it will be interesting to see how Knight processes defenses and adapts within the new offense.
The Bucks will struggle in their half court sets. They've only been in the new offense for a week, and I doubt there will be a lot of success there, at least for now. They'll fall short of their 46 percent goal.
If you are curious to see how I answered these questions, you can head over here. Because dear Eric took a shot at Cleveland with the tourist video (which, honestly, I think we can all agree is pretty hilarious) I wracked my brain over a way to return the favor. But outside of the Milwaukee Brewers choking against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 playoffs, the extent of my knowledge about the fine city of Milwaukee comes from this: