The Milwaukee Bucks made the first splash of the season with the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe from the Phoenix Suns. Milwaukee was able to make the trade without giving up any of their young assets (Malcolm Brogdon, Jabari Parker, and Thon Maker). The addition of Bledsoe should add to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s game, who has turned himself into an MVP candidate.

San Antonio is still playing without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. But coming into the game, San Antonio was still holding down the fort at 7-4. Their ball movement and stingy defense ensure that they rarely beat themselves, but they are susceptible to more talented teams who play up to their potential.

The Bucks showcased what they could be with Bledsoe on Friday night, and Antetokounmpo displayed his off-the-charts skills on both ends of the floor in the seven-point victory.

Bucks’ game recap

Bledsoe started his first game in place of last year’s Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. Toward the end of the first quarter, Bledsoe made his presence known on back-to-back possessions with an acrobatic drive to the basket and then a dish to Antetokounmpo for an easy layup. The Spurs’ frontcourt (LaMarcus Aldrige and Pau Gasol) put on a low-post clinic in the first quarter, combining for 18 points. But Antetokounmpo’s 10 kept the score close and tied at the end of the period.

The lead bounced back and forth in the second quarter, and the Spurs held a one-point edge at the half.

A Bledsoe to Antetokounmpo alley-oop in the period gave Milwaukee fans a taste of what’s to come with the pairing.

Antetokounmpo came out and dominated the third period to help give the Bucks a six-point lead. The Spurs cut the deficit to two late in the fourth behind Manu Ginobili’s gutsy performance (18 points), but Milwaukee finished them off to secure the seven-point win.

Bucks’ game MVP

The length and skill of Giannis Antetokounmpo are so overwhelming that he can get off a good shot anytime he wants; it is just a matter of whether he knocks it down. He did everything for the Bucks against the Spurs. He scored with ease (28 points), grabbed offensive and defensive rebounds (12 boards), and defended the rim (four blocks).

In addition to his alley-oop dunk from Bledsoe, he also suspended himself in the air on this one.

Rest of Bucks’ starters

Eric Bledsoe assimilated nicely in his Bucks debut. He didn’t shoot particularly well, but showed flashes of his elite athleticism and was on the floor when it counted down-the-stretch. He finished with 13 points on 6-15 shooting and dished out seven assists. Kris Middleton struggled with his shot as well. The usually reliable forward hit just 6-14 from the floor for 13 points. John Henson was effective around the basket, adding 10 points on several strong finishes. Tony Snell chipped in five points on 2-7 shooting.

Bucks’ bench

Malcolm Brogdon didn’t let his demotion from the Bucks' starting lineup affect his game.

He came in early in the first quarter and ended up playing the third most minutes on the team (34). He scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds. Brogdon and Bledsoe were on the court together during key moments in the final quarter,

Matthew Dellavedova also had a strong game off-the-bench. Not only did he score nine points, but he also played lockdown defense, causing multiple Spurs' turnovers during the Bucks’ strong third quarter. Thon Maker added four points and five rebounds.