Cleat Geeks

Bucks Get Defensive for Home Win

NBA-Mayo-OJFans of the Milwaukee Bucks have been waiting for the defense of last year to arrive on the scene this season. For one night at least they got just what they had been asking for in a 92-74 win on Monday night in a victory over the Denver Nuggets in one of the Bucks rare home games in this time frame. The defense last season forced tons of deflections and turnovers and that is something the Bucks have struggled with over the first month this season.

Monday night however, the Bucks were able to force a season high 24 turnovers that turned into 35 Bucks points. The Bucks blocked 12 shots and had 10 steals. They held the Nuggets to 37% shooting. That is the defense the Bucks must play in order to be successful. They cannot play this defense once in a while or once every ten games. They need to play with type of defensive effort on a nearly nightly basis. The Bucks also held the Nuggets to six made three pointers. This is also a significant improvement as the Bucks had given up over 90 three pointers in the past six games.

michaelCarterWilliamsAlso for the second consecutive game the Bucks got positive results from a revamped back court portion of their starting line-up. Jabari Parker and Michael Carter Williams went to the bench so that veterans O.J Mayo and Jerryd Bayless could start. In my view there are several reasons for this move to be made. One it provides some veteran leadership and hopefully defensive accountability to the defensive end of the floor from the starting line-up. Also it allows the Bucks the opportunity to have two nice weapons at their disposal coming off the bench. While two games is an extremely small sample size, early returns on the moves are favorable. The Bucks have played arguably their two best back to back defensive games of the season and Parker and Williams have been productive off the bench. Monday night Parker and Williams combined for 28 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals and five blocks while only committing two turnovers.

Michael Carter Williams can hopefully get some confidence from his near triple double filtering performance against Denver. He has struggled with nearly all aspects of his game in the early stages of the season. One of his bigger issues have been turnovers. Another reason I like moving him to the bench is it should take some pressure off him and allow him to grow into his role without the pressure of being in the starting line-up.

The Bucks have a lot of work to do towards turning this season around but they have two good beginning steps in the last two games. Although they lost Sunday the game was tied with two minutes to go and their effort was solid for the entire game. The fact that they Bucks have now put together two solid games consecutively should be viewed as a small but encouraging step in the right direction.

The Bucks pay a visit to one of the NBA’s best teams on Wednesday night as they visit the San Antonio Spurs.

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