The NBA’s bubble in Orlando will offer a great scouting opportunity for the Golden State Warriors as they eye a title run next season.
Why not learn from the best? The Golden State Warriors are gearing up to reclaim their throne next season but they will have to take it from whoever wins in Orlando. As of now, the Milwaukee Bucks appear to be the favorites to bring home the trophy.
The Warriors (probably?) won’t have a freak of nature like Giannis Antetokounmpo on their roster anytime soon. Nonetheless, they can study how the Bucks have found so much success this season and more importantly, find their weaknesses.
Wining 53 games before the season was suspended, the Bucks are the gold standard for greatness in the NBA. Right now, the road to a championship goes directly through Milwaukee. Their versatility on defense and dominance on offense is something that will challenge every team that opposes them in Orlando.
Giannis is not only the favorite to win his second straight MVP but is a threat to capture the Defensive Player of the Year Award too. The Bucks have posted the best Defensive Rating in the NBA for consecutive seasons and Antetokounmpo is the main catalyst behind this.
While the defensive end of the floor is their strong suit, it also features their biggest flaw. The Bucks system is to funnel everything into the paint, where they hold opponents to a league-low 38.8 points. Opponents shoot nearly 10 percent lower in the paint against the Bucks as they block the third-most shots in the association.
However, their dominance in the paint comes with a cost. They often use drop coverage on pick-and-rolls to pack the lane and contest drives. As a result, they allow more 3-point attempts per game than any other team. This hasn’t hurt them just yet, as opponents still shoot a woefully average 35.6 percent on these attempts.
The reason for this is because the Bucks strategically pick who they will allow to chuck up 3-pointers. More often than not, Milwaukee is content with opposing centers to shoot a high volume from deep while they focus primarily on pushing guards into the paint. This has caused players like Myles Turner, Al Horford, Kevin Love and Nikola Vucevic to attempt over 20 3-pointers against the Bucks this season.
Of course, this tendency to leave shooters open has burned the Bucks throughout the year. The best example of this being against the Memphis Grizzlies when Jaren Jackson Jr. torched them for 43 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the 3-point line. Even so, the Bucks still won by 13.
It seems the Warriors’ best bet of defeating the Bucks next season will be to take full advantage of this gap in their defense. The importance of Draymond Green being able to consistently knock down 3-pointers will be more crucial than ever as I’m sure the Splash Brothers will be the focal point of the Bucks defensive efforts.
As the Bucks head to Orlando, the Warriors will have to pay close attention to how opposing teams manage to break through their defense. This will pay dividends in a potential future series between the two titans.