The Phoenix Suns defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 118-105 in game one of the NBA Finals, the Bucks defense let them down in game one, and that a tough pill to swallow for a team that prides itself on playing defense. The Suns will look to hold serve and take a 2-0 series lead to Milwaukee, can the Bucks even the series? Let’s take a look?
Nothing Milwaukee tried seemed to work as they started the game out switching on defense and seemed to get lost in the shuffle of the Suns offense. When that didn’t work, the Bucks went into their most traditional scheme with Lopez in a drop coverage on ball screens. That basically invited Paul and Booker to get open looks from mid-range and that’s not a good idea if you are the Bucks. The best way to defend the Suns in my opinion is to switch the defenses up constantly and keep them off-balance, to defend the Suns you have to have more than just a plan A and a plan B. I think the Bucks defense needs to include blitzing/trapping and hedging, providing a more aggressive initial chase at the ball-handler, which Booker will refer to sometimes as “junk defenses” when it’s extreme enough. The Bucks also have to fight more aggressively through screens in game 2 if they want to even this series up.
The Suns did this in game one and Chris Paul it seemed most times had the ball up over mid-court before the clock was inside twenty seconds. Now I think the Bucks need to pressure Paul more to slow down the pace as the Suns were able to get into the offensive flow quickly.
The Bucks are a proud and resilient team and if they want to win this series they have to make a mark in this game. They need to be physical and aggressive and I think they will do that. Kris Middleton and Jrue Holiday will be keys on the offensive end as I think at least one of these guys will have a big game if not both. I am taking the upset here Bucks 110 Suns 107.
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