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Amid free agency rumors, Summer Nets lose to Bucks

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It was quite the Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas. The Summer Nets were playing their counterparts from Milwaukee in front of five NBA Nets.

And, as Nets free agency fever continued to pulse, NBA TV kept cutting to Sean Marks, who was on his phone in the stands throughout the course of the game. Even Kenny Atkinson seemed distracted at one point in the second half, reading notes delivered to the bench.

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Perhaps they were out here trying to foul up another team’s salary cap or future draft prospects. It’s the era of revenge and competence.

As for the game, it was more of the same.

On Friday’s Summer League opener, the Brooklyn Nets came out sluggish offensively, missing many point blank shots and open three’s. They later turned it around and came back to defeat the Atlanta Hawks by three.

On Sunday, it was a similar contest, though the Nets shook off the cobwebs much sooner and scored 83 points. Still, they finished with a five-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Summer Nets fab-five of Spencer Dinwiddie, Isaiah Whitehead, Archie Goodwin, Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played solid enough defense down in crunch time for the Nets, as they did Friday. That's a good thing since they weren’t lighting it up on offense.

LeVert had a big-time scoring performance Sunday but it wasn’t efficient. The 6’7” swingman paced the young Nets with 18 points on 9-of-18 shooting although he started a red-hot 7-of-11 from the field. His three point woes continue. He recorded his team-high scoring output despite going 0-for-7 from three.

LeVert’s jumper is naturally quick. If you have a PlayStation, his shot is reminiscent of when you tap the square and your player accidentally shoots it too quickly. He hasn’t been great from the perimeter, but once again, he found success slashing against the Bucks, getting most of his points in the paint.

On the other hand, he also was one of the few Nets tasked with guarding 2015 first-round pick Rashad Vaughn, who lit up the Black-and-White for 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting.

Elsewhere on the team, Whitehead reached double-digits again, finishing with 13 points, though, he only shot 4-of-13 from the floor, leaving him at 9-of-30 in the two games. The Seton Hall product continues to bring forth a scorer’s mentality, however, it has yet to translate into efficiency in July. Then again, we are in July by the way, so let’s not get too crazy.

Dinwiddie is continuing his steady play; steady being the key word.

After racking up 10 points, five steals, three rebounds and three assists — to one turnover — 48 hours earlier, the 6’6” floor general ran the show well again Sunday. Steady Spencer finished with 11 points, two steals and one assist to zero turnovers, with a fair share of hockey assists.

Dinwiddie notably has one turnover in a combined 53 minutes of Summer League play. He also shot a more than respectable 5-of-9 from the floor against the Bucks, coming off a 2-for-7 performance.

Goodwin continues to impress with his defensive energy and intensity, which included two blocked shots, proving to be effective as the team’s sixth man despite a scoring drop-off from 14 to six points. Goodwin is currently shooting 9-of-17 from the floor, combined.

Hollis-Jefferson hasn’t been looking to score but against the Bucks he looked to make players for others, finding open shooters on the wing, playing an inside-out game. He only finished with one assist due to some misfires, but the unselfish nature of his game was definitely eye-catching, as was his rebounding.

The Hyphen pulled down a game-high 12 boards, and his July total sits at 18. RHJ also netted eight points on 2-of-9 shooting, including a 4-for-6 display from the charity stripe. He missed both three-ball attempts.

So who supplied the offense?

Isiah Thomas said Friday that he had been looking forward to watching fellow Chicagoan Milton Doyle, and Sunday many discovered why. Many might be a stretch, but you get the picture.

Doyle was very effective early, and ended with a 13-point in 16-minute performance. The former Loyola (Illinois) four-year standout shot 4-for-6 from the floor, including a 3-of-3 display from deep, and had makes on both free throw attempts.

Expect to see more of him going forward. He can shoot.

Game 3 of Summer League will take place on Monday, July 10 against the New Orleans Pelicans at 6 p.m. Eastern Time.