There’s a reason many teams don’t play zone defense in the NBA, and even with it becoming more en vogue of late, we witnessed the perfect tape to show coaches about why it wasn’t run for so long with the Milwaukee Bucks systematically dismantling the Utah Jazz defense for a 144-116 win.
With little resistance from the Jazz’s backup brigade of defenders, the Milwaukee Bucks punished them with crisp ball movement that led to a 40-25 advantage after the first. Utah made a little hay to start the second period through quickening the pace and attacking before Milwaukee’s defense got set, but the Bucks returned it in kind as the quarter ran on and led 72-58 at half. Finally, Utah started relenting completely in the third, with Milwaukee putting it on them time after time to take a commanding 115-85 lead heading into the final period. Bud essentially waved the white flag at that point, allowing the backups to finish it out so the starters could rest up before flying to face off with Denver Saturday night.
Stat that Stood Out
As mentioned above, the Utah zone defense offered little to no resistance, but it was also up to Milwaukee to make mincemeat of their coverages. They showed patience, poise and speed with their ball movement as they hit 42 assists, eclipsing their previous season-high of 38 against Detroit in January.