Lopez still getting comfortable with new team

Updated 11/14/2019 10:22 PM

MILWAUKEE -- Robin Lopez addressed an important topic Thursday before playing against his old team.

Lopez has had long-standing rivalries with every mascot in the NBA. He seemed to get along well with Benny the Bull, but those two formally broke up during the preseason.


So how are things going with his new home mascot, Bango Buck?

"We'll see what happens," Lopez said with his usual deadpan delivery. "What I know about bucks, what I know about deer, you don't want to come on to them too quickly. They sometimes get somewhat skittish. So you've got to take your time, be kind of a deer whisperer."

Lopez spent three seasons with the Bulls, then signed with Milwaukee as a free agent this summer, joining twin brother Brook. The Lopez twins are now on the same team for the first time since leaving Stanford in 2008.

"You always love a vet that practices every day. He loved practice," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said of Robin Lopez. "He came in and worked every day. I thought that helped our culture, it helped our young guys understand you can play in the league 10, 12 years, you can practice every day. Thad (Young) has kind of assumed that role now. Thad practices every day, loves practice. So that was the first thing.

"Then RoLo's a hypercompetitive dude. He likes to win. He likes to win a practice game. He likes to win a one-on-one game, a shooting game. I like that competitive spirit he has."

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Young knows Giannis:

When he played for Indiana the past three seasons, Bulls forward Thad Young earned something of a reputation as a guy who does a decent job guarding Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, last season's MVP.

In four games against Indiana last year, the Greek Freak averaged 25.0 points and shot 55.9 percent, which are slightly below his season averages. Antetokounmpo beat his season averages in assists and rebounds against the Pacers, however. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was asked about the matchup before Thursday's game.

"I have a lot of respect for Thaddeus Young and the league in general," he said. "Everybody's going to throw their best at Giannis, because he's such a unique and special player. I think Giannis looks forward to these nights. Thad will push him and he'll push Thad. It's a great thing to watch."

Bull horns:

With shooting guard Khris Middleton out with a quad injury, the Bucks started Donte DiVincenzo, a career first, against the Bulls. Middleton was hurt Sunday against Oklahoma City and this was Milwaukee's first game since then. ... Rookie center Daniel Gafford is planning to join the Windy City Bulls on a two-game road trip to Canton and Long Island this weekend.


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