Denver Nuggets 94, Milwaukee Bucks 87: Three takeaways from final 2021 Summer League game

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

The Nuggets finished their Summer League on a winning note as they edged the Milwaukee Bucks in a 94-87 thriller.

Bones Hyland continued to show flashes of brilliance in his final 2021 Summer League outing, dropping 20 points and five assists on 50 percent shooting. Milwaukee was led by D'Mitrik Trice, who put up 22 on 10 of 16 shooting.

Charles Klask’s team finishes 2-3 in the 2021 Summer League, rebounding from a slow start in that tournament that was partially due to the team being shorthanded in the early going.

Here are the takeaways:

Bones shines again

While it is important to not get carried away by Summer League play, Hyland’s rising confidence was apparent on the floor in another strong outing. The Nuggets place a premium on intelligent play and the Nuggets rookie appears to be a great fit. He consistently makes the right play, even when defenses are honed in on him.

Despite having the ball in his hands for most of the game, he had just x turnover on the afternoon. His enthusiasm also appears to be infectious as once again he helped his team rally from an early nine-point deficit. Hyland would score x of his total in the second half, showcasing his ability to turn up his game in clutch situations.

If he continues to play efficient ball, he could earn a spot in Michael Malone’s rotation this season.

 

Hopefuls show up

 

Klask gave more minutes to some of the non-contracted players on the Summer League roster and several stood out.

 

Zylan Cheatham couldn’t repeat his 18-rebound night against the Mavericks, but he didn’t have to in another strong showing. The former Pelican finished the night with 13 points and five rebounds on an impressive 5 of 7 shooting.

Matur Maker was another stand out, providing some much-needed energy in the second half to help secure the win. Maker had one of the best slams of Summer League midway in the fourth quarter to give the team a 73-71 advantage. The reserve would finish with nine points on 4 of 4 shooting.

 

Lastly, Deonte Burton finished his Nuggets Summer League tournament with a stellar two-way performance, finishing the night with 13 points, four steals and four assists.

 

Defense rises to occasion

 

The Nuggets were outrebounded 45-28, but they still manage to beat the Bucks due to their consistent pressure on the defensive end. Denver forced Milwaukee into almost unfathomable 27 turnovers, scoring 35 points off those giveaways.

 

Klask’s team stole the ball an incredible 14 times, with Burton leading the charge. Davon Reed and Zeke Nnaji also played important roles in that area, with the two men combining for six steals.

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