I re-watched some playoff games against the Nets, Hawks and Suns. Turnovers and sometimes sloppy play was always a factor in each of our games played. I actually saw quite a lot of them, that it made me look up those stats. So, I wanted to see how this compares to the regular season stats of our big 3.
Regular season Bucks:
Giannis had lesser turnovers, but also lesser assists, which comes down to him having a smaller offense initiating role. Khris had more turnovers which affected his assist to turnover ratio considerably. Jrue had a little bit more turnovers, but he managed to increase his Ast/To ratio, thanks to a significant increase in his assists. This sounds great, but he has some shooting struggles throughout the playoffs.
Does this mean anything, lol?
So, there wasn't much of a great gap between the regular season turnover numbers and the post season turnovers. Despite Khris numbers being worse and the other guys doing their own share of turnovers, I admired how the team handled every single turnover of any player on the court. They didn't moved faces, they didn't complained to others, they didn't showed any disdain or discomfort. They focused on the next play, the next opportunity to score or defend.
I think that inner calmness was one of our biggest advantages in this playoffs. That clarity with how we dealed with mistakes made, showed to the other team that they had no chance to mess up with our brains, because we didn't even allow to question the play of each another on the team.
What did other teams do?
The team that played outstanding team basketball and won the second game by 34 points. Mike James, Nik Claxton, Bruce Brown were massive contributors. As we played our starters more and they caused more turnovers to their bench unit, Durant was very expressive and outspoken with any turnover his teammates did. As the games went on, a wide open Brown passed the ball back to one of Harden or KD. Joe Harris attempted only to take the wide open threes (which weren't many), Griffin tried not to take too many threes, and even Harden was content to play a less turnover distributing role. The game resolved around KD taking most the team offensive load. His assists cam down and the team played less team ball.
A young team with a deep bench, having had more time to rest. Sounds like they had a great advantage to start the series and they did. They won the first game playing their style of play, like they did against the Sixers. Great shooting, moving the ball around and having Trae and Bogdan doing their share of involving teammates into the game flow. They played so freely that Trae had no second thought of doing a shimmy.
The next couple of games it looked like we closed every easy avenue of scoring easily. Game two had a surprising element that put the Hawks into worry. Whenever Trae missed a shot or made a turnover, Jrue was sprinting down the court to receive a wide pass and score an easy layup. Time and time again it happended and the tactic of stopping Giannis on transition with fouls had to be expanded to Jrue and any other guy running down. The focus shifted from getting offensive boards to how better to avoid getting scored on easily on defense.
There wasn't much talk about turnovers and the team chemistry looked fine, but they didn't chucked them down either. They bothered them, you could almost feel that they thought about them after the games had even ended. They tried to do less of them and an once team playing basketball roster, went on to play guard dominant, with Collins and Capela having a much lesser role.
A better team than the Hawks, as young as them, a deep bench too, having one week of rest and Giannis our superstar and only having missed two games due to an injury that looked season ending. Well, if that doesn't sound good on paper to win a series, I don't know what does. First game it looked like they would dispatch the series in quick fashion. They got every shot they wanted in whichever position they wanted. Team play ala Hawks, but two notches better. Ayton looked like the monster he was advertised in the previous series.
Second game and we did some adjustments which made their life harder. Cam Payne wasn't as dominant, Ayton got scored 40 points on by Giannis alone, but their world was still in peace, because Khris and Jrue had horrific shooting nights. Third game, Giannis scores 40 again, Khris/Jrue show up and Chris Paul, Booker started to make uncharecteristic turnovers, which they chalked up to a bad day and not an effort by the opposing team (denial can be helpful). BUT, some math guru on their team came up with the conclusion that 40 points from Giannis plus decent Jrue and Khris are too many points to overcome.
Ayton who had two good first games, was more worried about his defense and not fouling out, than to score. Every attempt on offense against Giannis, looked like a futile endevour and Ayton a big part of the Suns style of play vanished from the equation. Like the Hawks, Suns went to play a guard heavy style game without getting help from their forwards/Center. There were so many turnovers were Paul/Booker tried to give the ball to one of their forwards/Center, that going one on one seemed the only viable option to score. The work became harder as they had to deal with great defenders for the most part wherever they went. Crowder looked like the only guy they could give the ball too and he was worried with scoring it as quick as possible to avoid getting stationary with the ball in his hands. Turnover worry took over on most players, besides one guy Cameron Johnson who played freely and had good games.
A great defense creates turnovers. The playoffs have a large amount of great defensive teams and scoring becomes more difficult. A great team doesn't get affected by turnovers, because one is sure, they always will be happening.
Plus, the Bucks won a Championship :)