The Milwaukee Bucks went into halftime of their first game of the 2013-14 NBA season looking like they had little hope of coming out with a victory. As the team went into the locker room for the half, they trailed the New York Knicks by a daunting 25 points and with no real signs of hope as they scored only 31 points through the first two quarters of play.
The second half told a different tale for the Bucks, though, as they came out and made a game of it by outscoring the Knicks 33-18 in the third quarter. Milwaukee fell short of a victory in the end, losing by a final score of 90-83, but they managed to make it respectable despite a strange game.
One of the strangest things that happened on the Bucks’ side of things was the little impact that exciting and newly extended center Larry Sanders had on the game.
Partially because of foul trouble and also because of the deficit that the Bucks were facing, Sanders only saw 12 minutes of playing time in the contest. In those 12 minutes, he didn’t show anything of great promise, either. For the night, the Milwaukee big man finished with zero points on 0-3 shooting, four rebounds, one block and two turnovers. That’s certainly not the line you want to see from a big man that your team just agreed to pay a hefty sum over the next four years.
Though Sanders’ energy, rebounding and defensive abilities make him one of the most exciting players in the league, the Bucks’ opener highlighted some of the risks that come along with Sanders. He has little restraint when it comes to trying to block shots, which sometimes results in him getting into foul trouble, meaning his minutes have to be limited. Based on what he’s already shown and his potentially, you almost have to like Sanders. However, the first game of the season showed that he still has some work and development left ahead of him.