Giannis Antetokounmpo solves a lot of problems, and if he takes another mini-leap, the Bucks could exceed expectations. Parker’s eventual return will beef up their depth, and give Milwaukee a little more data on how all the pieces fit; Parker and Middleton logged just six minutes together last season. Parker has defended so far with a poisonous combination of cluelessness and hyperactivity. It was not surprising that Milwaukee fared better without him.
Extension talks for Parker will likely go to the Oct. 16 wire, and any deal would nudge the Bucks close to next season’s tax. They have discussed dumping John Henson and Teletovic, but teams are squeezing hard, sources say.
Cleveland is going through an adjustment period as it tries to fit three new players into its starting lineup — Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder — on top of the position shift for Love. Another new addition, Isaiah Thomas, is recovering from a torn labrum in his right hip and will need to be worked back into the mix when he returns in late December.
“We’re going to get better as the season goes along, of course,” Lue said after the loss to Chicago dropped his team to 0-4 in the preseason. “But we will be better than we were tonight, for sure.”
“Didn’t make much of it at all,” Love said. “Preseason. A lot of bad stuff out there. It looked ugly, but we’re fine. … We’ll look at some stuff, clean it up. As long as we play hard, good things will happen.”