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Summer League Recap: Bucks beat Pelicans


The Pelicans are no longer an undefeated mascot, falling to the Bucks in Summer League. The story of the game from the Pelicans' perspective was Brian Roberts's incredible second-half run. He was able to find his groove in the mid-range, downing shot after shot off the pick and roll. When defenders tried to get tight on him in the mid-range, he was able to get to the basket and score, as well. He was the only Pelican able to score efficiently, knocking down 8 shots out of 15 to score 20 points. Weirdly, as the game wound down, neither the white-hot Roberts nor the generally solid Rivers got the ball - instead we got isolation possessions with Darius Miller and spot-up jumpers from Jon Brockman. Nonetheless, Roberts really redeemed himself from a weak first game, and everybody else gets bullets.

  • Rivers had a weaker game than Friday, but nonetheless was outstanding once again. His efficiency number suffered from having to chuck bad shots at the end of the shot clock, but he still finished with 15 points on 7-16 shooting. The big difference between this game and last was that he wasn't able to create the contact that got him to the line for 11 attempts on Friday - today he only had 2 free throws. On defense, he was again alert and aggressive, ball-hawking effectively and even playing some good post defense. It definitely looks like Friday wasn't a fluke for Austin.
  • Darius Miller, for a second-straight game, didn't look like an NBA player. Perhaps a player that projects as a 3-and-D player doesn't really fit in well with Summer League, where successful players have to be able to create off the dribble and get to the hoop, since offensive systems don't really exist. Miller went 2 for 9 for 8 points, which really understates how bad he was on offense outside of spot-up threes. When he was trying to create off the dribble, make passes, shoot jumpers, or get to the hoop, he looked totally inept. But when he was taking spot-up threes, he, once again, was very effective. There Pelicans definitely need that next season, but at what cost?
  • Man, Jon Brockman's fun to watch. He really gets after it on offense and defense, chasing every rebound and hitting the deck at the slightest provocation. Once again, he looked to draw the charge instead of going for the block, but he actually got some calls today. I don't know if the Pelicans have room for a 6'7" rebounding specialist, but he sure would be fun to have around.
  • Jeff Withey was underwhelming. He gets to the right spot on defense, he's very athletic, and he does a good job contesting around the rim. I was expecting a bit more of a block party, though, and he got only one (albeit extremely athletic) block. On offense, I was expecting bad things and didn't really see them. Sure, he went 1-7, but he wasn't clearly awful with the ball. When the ball came his way, he was able to distribute it effectively, and he even made a nice spot-up jumper from the right wing.
  • Pierre Jackson was generally out of control. Perhaps he and WIthey haven't had a chance to meld yet with the team due to missing the pre-Summer League practices, but he didn't seem to mesh very well with the SummerPelicans. Whenever he was in, Rivers was pushed to the off-guard spot, which was problematic. First, Jackson was turnover-prone. Second, there was no real way to get the ball to Austin Rivers, who was clearly a more efficient offensive performer than Jackson, who managed only 4 points on 7 attempts, while turning the ball over 3 times. Perhaps as he gets more time with the team, we'll see better things from him - I loved his athleticism, to be sure.