The Milwaukee Bucks opened their 2022-23 campaign on Thursday with a 90-88 road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Guard Jevon Carter earned his third start as a Buck in the opener and played 22 minutes. He finished the contest with five points, four rebounds and a steal, but his inclusion in the starting five is indicative of a shifting mentality in Milwaukee as the club looks to regain its championship prominence.
“If this morning you told us we were going to score 90 points and we were going to win the game, I would have said no way,” said Bucks forward Giannis Antetekoumpo. “But at the end of the day, this is our goal. We want to be one of the best defensive teams and we want to go out there and compete together, and we did that tonight.”
Of course, Carter has a strong reputation for his defensive prowess after earning two National Defensive Player of the Year honors at West Virginia.
Carter has won over the Bucks’ fanbase after joining the franchise in February off waivers. When the team announced its starters for the season opener on Twitter, the majority of responses from fans praised coach Mike Budenholzer for starting the former WVU star.
The Maywood, Illinois native also turned heads with his shoes, donning a custom pair of Nike Air Zoom GT Cuts.
While it seems Carter has established himself in the Bucks’ rotation after cracking the starting five, his long-term role with the team is still in flux. Milwaukee is fighting through a lengthy injury list for the start of the season as two of its key guards, regular starting Khris Middleton and bench contributor Pat Connaughton, are both set to miss the first few weeks of the regular season.
Milwaukee has a quick turnaround as it tips off a three-game homestand on Saturday against the Houston Rockets.