Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBA Playoffs, NBA, Eastern Conference, Nikola Vucevic 4, to series playoff to end in game 5th
Yes, we go over to orlando i’m glad you brought it up, uh build the wall and they did that very well. In the first, we talked to steve clifford a little bit earlier today, it’s impossible to do it all the time, but that was their priority in game number one yeah and you can be better at it. The reality is in watching that game. I thought their defense was about a half step slower and then, if that’s the case, then you can’t build a wall, but they showed in game one that you could do it. I thought they were tremendous with their transition defense, not allowing giannis to attack them on the interior because as good a passer as he is he’s, not a guy that’s. What i consider a great passer, so if you can load, he will give you an opportunity with his kickouts for you to recover to those three point: shooters that’s, why they were successful in game. One question is: can they do it again in game four and for orlando? Can they do what luca and the mass did? Oh, not that dramatically, of course, and they don’t need overtime, but can they force a 2 2 situation and it may boil down to one guy that’s been very good for them and he’s a vet so he’s experienced. He shouldn’t be overwhelmed by this, but he was averaging 19 during the regular season. Only 11 over the first three games, evan fournier, yeah and listen.
He had his struggles last season, uh post season wise and this year, he’s obviously gotten off to a slow start. But in in to his credit, he’s also been sick. He missed a week while here in the bubble, wasn’t able to do anything and so the rhythm isn’t there, the confidence hasn’t been there but steve flippers did say: hey look. He we think he’s coming out of it he’s getting back to what we saw all season long and, if that’s the case that gives them another weapon that they have to have if they want to tie things up, if they’re going to get it all. Even after four games, matt steve clifford also told us they’re going to try to find more space for fournier, as well as more touches from markelle fultz got to get something out of fournier. This is a team with such a small margin for error, offensively. Looking at milwaukee for the rest of this series, however long it lasts and beyond in the playoffs for a team that’s expected to make a deep playoff run, what will they need from chris middleton moving forward? You’Re talking about an all star, who’s, been pretty quiet in this series. So far good question it’s a great question. I think it’s a good point. You know they can win this series without chris middleton having a tremendous impact, but i don’t know if they can win another series without it, because the defenses are going to get better and joel talked about the ability to kind of wall off giannis and keep him Out the interior you’re never going to keep him out all game, but you can impact the amount of paint touches.
He gets and well that puts more pressure on a guy like chris middleton, who can create his own offense. Who does have the ability to be a three level scorer? He just hasn’t shown it in this series and in order for them to have a chance to win the western, the eastern conference, i think he’s got to get back to that all star caliber level. A little better in game three, but still in my estimation, not good enough. If this team ultimately wants to win the east yeah not hitting for a high percentage and matt, you bring a good point because he had 17 in the last game and maybe that’ll pick up his confidence level after game three. But at the same time, let’s see and it’s going to be a game time decision aaron gordon, is still missing for orlando and they need aaron, gordon already missing. Jonathan isaac and isaac would have been the guy that would have been the primary defender on yana sit at akumbo aga. I got one question for you eric from a point guard perspective, and i said this last year, eric gordon eric bledsoe to me has got to step up and play big. He kind of disappeared in that toronto series last year for the bucks. How important is he at that point, guard position defensively and offensively with chris middleton struggling who’s, going to be that guy and does eric need to be that guy to step up for the bucks and sam it’s a great question, because he he really is the other Guy in that starting lineup, besides militant and giannis, that can create his own offense and you touched upon something that’s really important, his impact defensively.
You know we just talked with coach budd. He he spoke on the fact that he said look. Eric bledsoe is one of the very few guys i’ve ever seen that can disrupt an entire offense with his ability defensively. So you need that on that end, but you’re at times going to need him to step up and be a little bit more of a consistent perimeter threat, but also a guy that can create opportunities for his teammates. Draw files on the opposing team and get to the free throw line, so he’s got to be better there’s, no doubt about it. It’S the first round and you typically see teams get better as we move on. That’S got to be the case for this milwaukee team and it’s been thus far they’ve gotten better in game two on the game. Three. Can they play better in this series, even and maybe take a complete control here today and sam coachbutt also told us earlier today. He said he was encouraged by the fact that eric bledsoe was getting into the paint more often in game three much more after they watched film than games. One and two fellas look forward to the call of game four coming up here in about 45 minutes or so we’ll talk to you later greg, anthony and joel myers on the call and with us from the bubble here on the auto trader. Pregame we’ll talk to you soon, all right guys.
The the bucks defense has looked very much like the one that led the league in defensive efficiency over the course of the regular season during games. Two and three you see all the numbers in their favor holding orlando under 40 percent, shooting for the last two games and gp. It doesn’t hurt that when they’re really good defensively that adds an element of offense for milwaukee as well. Yes, it yeah, it does matt. You know we’re going to look at this video as you see right here. A lot of teams don’t get back, but you see these guys are sprinting and then they’re staying up and then they’re going to block let’s see you know. Giannis is coming down, and this has got now a two or one but watch this he’s going to draw so much attention what he does cross over bang three point play so that’s what it is, then he comes here. Look at them, they’re in the middle. Look at the lopez look at y’all he’s reaching at the ball, but he’s gon na go right here, get his hand in the mid and the way get a steal done. All of this is leading off. To often here they go again see. Lopez is, in the middle, see everybody’s focusing at the ball they’re staying in front. He gets poked that the ball gets poked away. Here he comes. He comes down, slows down the weight force player because he’s already controlled dave folks do a bad job.
Leave me wide open three points here. They go. They come off lopez jump out to him, but goddess is still coming. You see, but now what, instead of him going to the over there to the shooter, he tries to make a pass and look at a guy they’re right there now again, another dunk with a layup. You turn the ball over against these guys and when they’re playing defense you’re going to get a they’re going to get a layup in transition, because they’re very good in transition and in the half court nicola buchevich has had a really good offensive series. He’S, a really skilled offensive player, but uh sam it’s, pretty handy that you have a guy like giannis onto the cupo, who may well win defensive player of the year who, despite the fact that he’s a ball handler and essentially a wing player you can put on The opposing team center, if you need to latent games yeah when you look at giannis, he’s able to guard two positions, what i mean by that he’s able to be in the corner, guarding a primary offensive player and still able to help watch him right here. Look at jonas, even though his primary offensive guy is in the corner, he’s, so long and athletic he’s able to drop in on the double get those long arm in there cause boots of his trouble again. Here’S giannis on the switch right here watch what he does.
He’S going to fight boosevic early front him and get him off the block, and now at this point, giannis has the advantage, because of his size and quickness here again guarding boostfit right here, he’s going to crowd him, take away the three he’s going to get down The block but he’s going to use those unorthodox long arms of his to get inside on the error pass from the point guard can deflect the ball away, which again, which causes a 24 second violation. And again, when you look at giannis his ability to guard his man, but also because of his length and athleticism he’s able to guard half another man, it just makes him invaluable to what the bucks do on defense. Uh offensively. You know anna decoupo is a handful gp we’re, going to see different versions of this walling off strategy throughout the playoffs. As far as milwaukee will go. Why has he been more effective? The last couple of games than in game one? Well, i think he’s wearing more aggressive than he’s playing his his game. I think what he’s doing now is is he’s getting to the basket look. This is his game getting to the basket downhill. Then if he start making these type of shots, they’re going to start being scared on him, i mean he’s just everywhere and when he’s in the passing lane, i always have told myself – and i told the people that i played with if we play defense and get Steals and get easy buckets and give them three.
Six and seven eight points it’s going to make it a lot easier for us to score sam. I mentioned the small margin of error for this orlando magic team in this series they’re a low turnover team. They generally play good defense, but they’re not an explosive offensive team. What is the formula today if they’re going to even this thing up? Well, if i was orlando, i would try to really get back and think about switching defenses playing a little bit more zone because of that lack of depth because of injuries. Look, you can’t even explain how much they miss gordon and jonathan isaac. This could be a different series if those two guys were playing, but they don’t have them. So i would look at playing a little bit more zone to try to protect crucifix, to keep him out of foul trouble to keep him from getting so fatigued, because if he doesn’t get 30 to 35 points, it’s going to be extremely hard for them to win. So i would play more zone, i would switch my defenses. I would pick the bucks up a little more. I would try to speed the bucks up more in half court and then by limiting the turnovers. You take away a lot of the bucks offense by not letting them get out and get easy baskets in transition, and you hear the guys talking about evan fournier, their second leading scorer at some point. They’Ve got to get something out of him or some bonus offense from from a source that’s unexpected at this point.