Cleat Geeks

Spurs Ball Movement and Depth To Much For Bucks

bradleyCenterIn order to defeat the San Antonio Spurs it is going to take a spectacular effort for 48 minutes on both ends of the floor. That is the type of game the Bucks put together a couple weeks ago against Golden State in order to give them their first loss of the season. The Bucks were not able to do it this time in a rare home game in a road heavy portion of the schedule falling to the Spurs 123-98 Monday night at the Bradley Center. There are several lessons the Bucks’ can hopefully learn from absorbing their second 25 points loss to the Spurs this season.

The Bucks came out shooting well in the first quarter. They went 13 of 17 but despite that shooting percentage the Bucks only held a one point lead at the end of the first quarter. The game swung decidedly in the Spurs favor in the second quarter where it would remain for the remainder of the night. There are lessons for the Bucks to take from this loss. Looking at how the Spurs offense is run, the ball is constantly moving. It is moving at a rate that is a faster rate than the defense can contain it. What the Bucks can learn from that is obvious as when the Bucks hit scoring droughts their offense tends to get very stagnate with lots of people standing around while one person with the ball tries to score. Two of the better offenses in the NBA in the Warriors and Spurs are also two of the best teams in the NBA in assists and ball movement. That is not a coincidence. The Bucks need to strive to get more ball and player movement in their offense throughout the duration of offensive possessions.

Another big problem in the first half for the Bucks was their inability to keep the Spurs off the offensive glass. The Bucks were out rebounded 25-15 in the first half. Much of that differential accounted for the Spurs getting nine offensive rebounds. They turned those nine offensive rebounds into 12 second chance points. The Spurs are simply way too talented to have to try and stop them multiple times in the same possession.

Another big difference between the Bucks and Spurs is depth. One of big catalysts for the Spurs in the game was Jonathan Simmons. He scored 18 points and in 20 minutes played. But the Spurs depth advantage over the Bucks is clearly shown in their advantage in bench scoring. The Spurs scored 56 points off their bench compared to the Bucks scoring 23 points off their bench. In order for the Bucks to rise to the next level they are going to need both greater depth and production from their bench.

Jerryd Bayless was hurt in the second quarter. He sprained the same ankle that caused him to miss ten games in early December. There is no time table on how long he will be gone this but I would estimate that a similar timeline to his earlier injury is possible especially considering it is a reinjuring of the same ankle. I would expect Rashad Vaughn to see increased time in the absence of Bayless going forward.

The Bucks travel to the United Center to play the Bulls Tuesday night.

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