After a thorough thrashing in Toronto, the Raptors will face off against a determined Bucks squad in Milwaukee. Once again, we were lucky enough to discuss the series with Kyle Carr of Brew Hoop:
Kawhi is playing visibly hobbled, while other Raptors are finally stepping up and hitting their threes. Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo mentioned post-game that Milwaukee will continue with the same defensive strategy, what are the pros and cons of shifting the Bucks’ defense to focus more on containing perimeter shooters?
I’m not sure what defense Milwaukee threw out there in Game 4. All season long they played more of a zone drop scheme with a little bit of switching every once in awhile. In Game 4 it was more Jason Kidd-esque in which they were over helping and doubling the post and allowing Toronto to make the one extra pass for an open shot.
While Giannis said Milwaukee will continue with the same defense, I think there will be some adjustments and potentially more switching to prevent open looks for guys like Norman Powell, who I am 100,000 percent sick of, and Kyle Lowry. Milwaukee’s defense forces the other team’s non-shooters to shoot along with more above the break threes which if they don’t hit them, is good for Milwaukee. The Bucks seemed a step slow in Game 4 and I don’t expect that to continue.
Serge Ibaka was incredible on the boards in Game 4, and the Raptors out-rebounded the Bucks for the first time this series. Was this an issue of hustle on the Bucks’ part? If not, what did Ibaka do differently and how can the Bucks combat the Raptors’ newfound rebounding moving forward?
It was a little bit of both; like I mentioned before, Milwaukee seemed a step slow which didn’t help rebounding matters. Also Marc Gasol hitting shots forces Brook Lopez to come and close out and that’s one less player that can grab a board. Rebounding comes down to the bounce off the rim, and battling for position. The Bucks normally do a good job of boxing out but simply didn’t have it against Serge Ibaka.
Do you think homecourt advantage is vital for these upcoming games? What are the major differences you saw from the Bucks at home versus on the road over the course of the season/playoffs?
The Bucks made it a goal to get home court for this very reason. The tough part about winning 60 games and the nine playoff games in the previous two rounds is they were good both at home and on the road. This is the first time Milwaukee has faced serious adversity. There is a reason Giannis made it a point to win Game 1 against Toronto; the Raptors are a very talented team. The Bucks feed off the crowd’s energy and the Raptors crowd was excellent in their own right.
What I saw from Games 3 and 4 was Milwaukee looked lost at points; there was hesitation to shoot, sloppy turnovers, and not winning the transition battle. I think Game 4 was good for the Bucks in which they said, we were thoroughly out-hustled, and outplayed and they won’t let it happen again.
Thanks again to Kyle for speaking with us! Be sure to check out Brew Hoop for more excellent Milwaukee coverage.