Despite last night’s ugly loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Milwaukee Bucks are a very good team. But he needs to make one important adjustment to his offense if he wants to continue to be successful in 2023 and beyond.
After the Bucks emerged as legitimate contenders and became the undisputed champions in the 2020-2021 season, there has been an almost idiosyncratic focus on Giannis as an offensive option. While this approach has served the team well, it’s not sustainable if you want to stay competitive and keep winning championships.
In fact, Milwaukee’s biggest rival in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics, may have unleashed a blueprint that consistently frustrates the Bucks.
In the Christmas game, the Celtics switched all pick-and-rolls involving Antetokounmpo, forcing Milwaukee to find different looks on the offense. This allowed Boston to prevent Giannis from retrieving the bucket easily and to capitalize on Milwaukee’s lack of offensive balance.
Boston features a capable cadre of defenders with both the weight and the discipline to stay in front of the Greek freaks. Al Horford and Grant Williams were willing to sacrifice their bodies to deny Giannis, but the Celtics’ wings (Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart) were willing to put him in front of him. It has the length and quickness to stay on.
Diversify your attacks
The Bucks will need to diversify their offense if they are to succeed against a team with the talent to keep Antetokounmpo down. This means finding offensive go-to players like Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. They’ll also have to find ways to create different looks on offense, involving lesser-known (but talented) players like Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton and Joe Ingles. .
By increasing playmakers, diversifying their offensive set, and making the most of Antetokounmpo’s unique skill set, the Bucks are able to consistently keep the opposing team guessing while simultaneously succeeding.
A good offense is predicated on balance, and the Bucks will have to find that if they want to stay in contention for the 2023 title.