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Film Room: How the Milwaukee Bucks defended James Harden

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The Milwaukee Bucks employed an exaggerated strategy to try to slow Harden on Wednesday night.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Wednesday night’s showdown between two MVP candidates in Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden, it was the Houston Rockets who were supposed to unveil a wild strategy against Milwaukee. Most thought they would match their center, Clint Capela, on the Bucks MVP candidate similar to the Utah Jazz. However, it was Milwaukee’s defensive strategy that generated all of the discussion.

The Bucks strongly forced Harden to go right, often giving him a clear path to the rim in doing so. The scheme had mixed results as Harden generated 42 points on 13 of 30 shooting from the field.

In order to gain a. better understanding of the defensive alignment, let’s take a look at a few possessions and break it down. In this video I examine:

  • How the strategy originated within the Bucks organization.
  • The success Milwaukee had in the first quarter.
  • The different defenders Milwaukee threw at Harden and who had the most success.
  • How Harden broke the “D” down and generated points for his team.
  • How the Bucks got enough stops to pull out the victory.

Bucks Film Room’s goal is to help fans become smarter about the game. Please follow me on Twitter @BucksFilmRoom for more Bucks’ breakdowns.