It's no secret that the Milwaukee Bucks are going through a bit of an identity crisis.
While their Greg Monroe-centric offense has seen demonstrable improvement, the Bucks' once-vaunted defense has suffered through an early season malaise full of missed rotations and entirely bereft of defensive rebounds. And while the Bucks continue to force turnovers at a respectable clip, heading into Tuesday's matchup in Washington even that strength was well off their league-leading pace from a year ago.
Our Eric Nehm broke down the Bucks' defensive struggles at Milwaukee Magazine late last week, arguing that it had less to do with tactics and more to do with mindset:
The Bucks defense has been very bad this season. By just about any measurement, they have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. It would be easy to go break down the film and show each of the technical mistakes the Bucks are making on defense. The Bucks game broadcast pointed out one of the many specific problems last night. Eventually though, it comes down to one thing.
On defense, the Bucks will do the first thing correctly and sometimes the second thing correctly and think their work is done.
Eric and I discussed the defense in further detail on Sunday night, putting context around their early struggles, recent improvement, and what we might reasonably expect from them over the coming months. We also discussed the flip side of their defensive challenges -- a more potent offense built around Greg Monroe's interior talents and a rather curious lack of perimeter shooting around him.
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