Defending the Bucks

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walker_harris3
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:07 pm

Defending the Bucks

Post by walker_harris3 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:39 am

Seems to me the easiest/best way to play the Bucks is to treat their centers as if they are just sharpshooting wings. Treat Brook Lopez as if he were Kyle Korver. Functionally, they're more similar in style of play than Brook Lopez is with any other NBA center that I can think of. So why stick a traditional slow footed center on him? Stick a switchable forward on him instead of giving them what they want. Brook Lopez isn't an offensive or defensive rebounding threat in his current style of play, so going small doesn't really give up anything in the way of rebounding.

Defensive benefits? More switchable defenders and much quicker defensive rotations. Also encourages Milwaukee to go to the post under the guise of having a mismatch. A Brook Lopez post up provides a more favorable outcome than Milwaukee's #1 ranked half court offense. Giannis seems to get some degree of tunnel vision in the post as well. And from my experience watching the Bucks this season, he goes into the post not even looking to score on most occasions, but rather to draw the double team and then pass to the open man on the perimeter. If you coach your team to collapse the defense at the right moments, he will turn the ball over on bad passes more often then he will score.

Offensive benefits? Lopez is a slow footed center and hurts Milwaukee's switching on defense and provides a weakness teams can hunt and exploit, especially when going small. Force Bud to take him out of the game.

In two games against the Hornets, Milwaukee's offense has struggled immensely with MKG on the court, who has been played in this matchup primarily at center. MKG has a 109 ORTG (4th/10) and 82.6 DRTG (1st/10) in these two games, whereas Cody Zeller has a 98.9 ORTG (9th/10) and 118 DRTG (9th/10). That's a 45.4 swing in net rating, including a 35.4 swing in DRTG alone by going small against a bigger team. Needs more sample/research (and coaches willing to go small vs the Bucks) but I'm fairly certain this trend would hold true to applicable teams that don't have a mobile center that would fit this matchup (like the Nuggets have in Mason Plumlee), but have switchable forwards and the capacity to go small.

Mike G
Posts: 4145
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:02 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Re: Defending the Bucks

Post by Mike G » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:42 am

Brook Lopez isn't just unique among centers, he's unique for himself.
Here are some career low numbers; showing career previous to this season, and this season:

Code: Select all

years    PER   FTr   ORb%   DRb%   Ast%  Stl%  Usg%
prev.   20.4   .331   8.7   15.9   9.2   0.9   25.6
18-19   13.0   .114   1.4   12.1   5.0   0.6   16.1
The rebounding doesn't seem to matter, since the Bucks have seemingly gone from worst- to best-rebounding team in the league, in one year.
Some career highs or bests for Lopez:

Code: Select all

years   TS%  3PAr  TO%   DBPM   BPM  ORtg
prev.  .566  .098  11.0   0.2   0.9   110
18-19  .598  .728   8.5   1.5   2.2   114
Best ever BPM and worst PER in the same season. Can't say I've ever seen that over 11 seasons.

walker_harris3
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:07 pm

Re: Defending the Bucks

Post by walker_harris3 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:40 pm

Good lord, that difference is 3P rate is ridiculous. +14.4 raw on/off is also 2nd on the team only to Giannis' +15.4. Getting him off the court has to be a priority for teams. He's probably on the most valuable contract in the NBA right now.

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