Omg the Bucks are down 0-2, but don’t look yet, it’d be too obvious.
Why can’t we look yet?
Well, because the Bucks are supposed to be good?
In this weird 2020 season Milwaukee ranks 1st in wins, margin of victory, defensive rating, pace, effective field goal %, opponent Field Goal %, defensive rebounding % and so, so much more.
They were by far the runaway team before a little thing called COVID-19 put everything on pause.
On top of this they have the likely MVP on their team in Giannis Antetokounmpo, a man who averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists across the season. For those who tend to be more casual fans of the NBA, take my word for it, that is elite. Like really, really elite.
Many people had this Bucks team taking on either the Lakers or Clippers in the finals, so it took many by surprise when they began to falter coming into the NBA Bubble.
During those early seeding games they went 3-5, a pretty dismal effort for a team who was head and shoulders above the rest in its conference. These losses however were put down to the fact that they had already secured the number 1 seed in the East and were looking for some rest heading into the playoffs. Some people in the media really said this with a straight face, forgetting that they had an almost 5 month break in between games.
In my opinion, the whole team should’ve played as many minutes as possible in each of these games to acclimatise back to the intensity of the NBA.
Then again, I am a 19-year-old Australian kid writing stories, not a physio or coach.
Their First Round series against a much inferior team in the Orlando Magic was also cause for concern. Milwaukee dropped Game 1 and sent the entire NBA into raptures, surely an 8 seed wouldn’t upset the Bucks and the MVP? Although they came back and won four in a row, it was hardly convincing, their shooting was shaky at best.
That brings us up to right now where they are two games behind the Miami Heat. But why? And more importantly, how?
Well, I think there are many reasons.
The first is glaringly obvious.
Although they are the best defensive team in the NBA they can’t defend the 3 if they tried.
The Bucks rank 30th in field goal attempts, 3-point attempts and 3-point makes.
This means, teams are taking lots of shots against them AND they are also making a lot of the 3’s they take.
That is what happened against Orlando in Game 1.
The Magic made 16 3’s at 40% shooting on a night where they got really hot behind the arc. Lucky for the Bucks, Orlando isn’t a great shooting team and they weren’t able to replicate this across games 2-5.
Looking at Miami though, they are much better from downtown and Milwaukee should be scared of what they are capable of. As a team they have the 2nd best 3pt % in the NBA and have individually elite shooters that can pick up the slack if some aren’t firing.
People like Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic can all put up 8 3’s in a game if needed and that is the exact Achilles Heel of the bucks.
Whilst the 3pt shooting is a massive thorn in the side of the Bucks, what makes it worse is the presence of Jimmy Butler.
Butler (Unfortunately no relation to me), is pretty simply, a shit 3pt shooter. He shot around about 29% on the season which is not great at all. However, this sometimes plays into the strengths of the Heat.
Let's say the Bucks are focusing on limiting 3’s during a game against Miami, Jimmy, an All-star calibre player can easily work his way inside and either grab a layup or a foul.
Now let’s say the Bucks are focusing on limiting Jimmy’s impact on the game by crowding the paint, well their already weak 3pt defence is now even less focused on this and their perimeter players can just shoot Milwaukee into submission.
The Bucks can never centralise their defence and this is what happened in both games 1 and 2.
In game 1, the Heat fed Jimmy and he scored 40 points, shootin