Things would get bumpy in this new era of Milwaukee Bucks Basketball. There is the high of beating the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat, then the low of getting smoked by the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. There has been a lot of discussion on what the Bucks and coach Adrian Griffin will do, and we saw a glimpse last Friday against the Knicks.
Welcome back to the Weekly Wednesday Wrap-Up. Longtime readers will know this was a weekly installment that Co-Managing Editor Emeritus Adam Paris would do. With Adam deciding to retire and have his name up in the Brew Hoop rafters, there was a void for what this series would be. I will continue his series and hope to live up to what Adam did. Now that we have that established, let’s get into it.
The Week That Was
- Milwaukee 111, Toronto 130 (Toronto’s defense shuts down Giannis and Co.)
- Milwaukee 110, New York 105 (Milwaukee uses Dame Time to close out the Knicks)
- Milwaukee 129, Brooklyn 125 (Shooters shoot and Giannis does too)
The most significant topic of discussion has been the Bucks’ defense. We knew it would be a shift from the zone drop system that lasted five seasons. We expected growing pains, but some displays have been pretty shambolic. One of the challenges with Griffin’s strategy is having Brook is further away from the rim. We saw Brook and Beasley attempting to defend a Schroeder/Poeltl pick-and-roll; Brook is in no man’s land and slow to react.
Brook isn’t helped by his teammates being unable to fight through the screen, but the Bucks’ aggressive scheme leaves players not in spots where they need to be, or do something well for a moment, only for one person to have it fall apart.
The third problem with the Bucks’ defense was transition. In 2022–23, the Bucks were 10th in transition defense, allowing 20.2 PPG; this season, the Bucks are allowing 31.3. The Houston Rockets, who finished last the previous year, allowed 27.2. How much of that is energy and effort, and how much is lack of communication? We will hopefully see, but this is just a disgusting display.
The Knicks game showed that Adrian Griffin would be willing to adjust and saw Brook return to his preferred drop style. How long that lasts we will know in January, but something tells me there will be a hybrid that can satisfy everyone involved.
Plays Of The Week
I will need to give Jae Crowder an apology post now that he has been hitting corner threes.
He does it again here after Giannis passes out of a double, then triple team as Mikal Bridges helps off Cam Payne. Portis heads to the dunker and forces Crowder’s man to switch onto him. Payne has an open look as the Nets are recovering so Giannis finds him, but he’s way out in Damian Lillard land. MarJon Beauchamp has one too, so Payne dishes to him on the weak side. By then Brooklyn is closing out, but Beauchamp knows Crowder is open. Though Bridges is good enough of a defender to know this well before the ball finds Jae and is quick enough to make it there for a contest, Jae is already set.
Brook lobbied to get drop defense, and he rewarded that faith.
Nov. 8: the play of the week is...
This poll is closed
Triple team to Crowder triple
Double block Brook
What’s The Vibe?
A slight alteration to the series: I will summarize my feelings. It could be a meme, a gif, or a quote; who knows?
If you threw your phone in frustration, you may be entitled to compensation.