Have you come out of the biggest second round in NBA history?
The final of the Eastern Conference between Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors brings a clash between the two best players of the conference – Giannis Anetokunmppo and Cavi Leonard, two of the superstars who identified these pros in the nut.
Bad news: they can not protect each other as fans expect the gladiator's theater. both ends
When Milwaukee holds: Protecting the Greek Germans
Bring Out Your Centers! Mark Gasol and Serge Ibac
It became chic to set up hippopotamus centers – Rudy Hobart, Joel Embroid, Jarrett Allen, Aron Baines ̵
Ibaka has a better chance, and got a piece of appointment Antecunmppo through four regular matches of the season. (All four occurred before the Raptors acquired Gasol.) A view of the two-sided Ibaka-Gasol center helped strengthen Toronto against the humiliation of the Philly team. It's not so important here – Milwaukee takes 26th place at the next qualifying pace – but Raptors is suddenly so thin without (yet) O.G. Anunobi may need to steal a few minutes with Ibaca, guarded by Antecoknmpo and Gasola on Brooke Lopez or Ersan Ilyasov
Note # 1: Bucks greatly deprives offensive heels, so Lopez can be seen at the top of the arc and work as the first line of defense transition. The transition is an important game in the game. Toronto headed the league in points for possession at the crossings played, for cleaning glass data. Milwaukee boasted the most stable transition defense.
Note No. 2: Anunno will come in handy here, and not only because Nick Nurse has lost all faith in Norman Powell (and some in Fred Wanley) in the Philly series. Anunoby could absorb a bit of Antetokounmpo appointment, and provide Toronto with more switchable, small-line line options – options they may need more urgently here.
Bucks may be in their most dangerous with three guards and wings around Antetokounmpo and Mykola Mirotich. In the first game of Malcolm Brugdon after injury, Mike Budenholzer struck out Eric Bledso, Brugdon, Chris Middleton, Antecoknmpo and Mirotik's lineup for ninety minutes. (For these minutes Milwaukee has moved Boston to 14 points). For this game, this group recorded one minute for just one minute.
Bucks can overthrow George Hill, Pan Connonto or even Sterling Brown – who fell on Leonard's protection
Does any of Toronto's big combinations of Milwaukee scare off tilt a little more in these groups? The Raptors got almost nothing without hanging Gasol on Tobias Harris vs. Philly. It was a kind of knock. Could it damage Myrotik or Ilyas?
In another extreme composition, Milwaukee, playing with three of the three Antecukmunmpos / Myrotic / Ilsay / Lopez quartets, should be safe for Raptors to play their own super-big triple Pascal Siakam, Ibaka and Gasol. Again: If Anunoby can not go and Powell shrinks, Toronto needs to fill in the minutes. Of course, some of Powell's best moments, like Raptor, came out against Milwaukee in the playoffs two seasons ago.
The immovable object, the irresistible force, etc.: Kawhi Leonard
Oh baby. Let's do it! Leonard typed him back in the post-season and again became a court fighter.
He held Antecunmppo for only 31 possession in three games – Leonard missed the loss in Toronto – and Antecunmppo tried only three shots on these trips. , according to relevant NBA.com data. (Such data does not indicate 100 percent of those who started or ended possessions that protect a particular player, it records those who hold the player for the longest time, but the visual tracking data from the second spectrum draw the same picture: in the limited sample, Leonard Suppressed the shooting of Antecunmppo and
These numbers carry tons noise. They may not matter. At least for a couple of possessions, Antecukunmpo surpassed Leonard:
Antecunmppo became more comfortable, went to Al-Horford when the semifinals the conference lasted. can le Narde feel the same way?
Leonard can not work as the main defender of Antecukmompo in a series and bear the burden that he had to bring (sorry) from time to time against Philadelphia – including in the game 7, when he looked as the only Raptor who wanted to shoot.
But this is what Toronto will do, perhaps in times of crisis, and it's easy to make matches work. Siakam can protect almost everyone.
Milwaukee has the tools to abandon Leonard, if it turns out to be problematic. They can use Antetokounmpo at any end of the pickup, and present Toronto with a bad choice: switch to inconvenience, or allow Antetokounmpo to escape from the rotating defense
For most of the Raptors series, there will be Siakam and Leonard protecting the Middleton-Giannis combination – that means that they can switch the game between two players among the best players in Milwaukee:
Here is what happens when you can not switch to this action:
The Bucks likes to clear one side of the dance floor for Middleton- Antecunmpto, so d Help the defenders should slip all the way through the courts.
Milwaukee can come back in less switchable pickups and rolls with the participation of Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe
If the Raptors have Danny Green on Bledsoe – and they will be for stretching – they can switch that action, hold their noses, and live with Green at Antetokounmpo. ( Live may be optimistic).
Milwaukee can complicate things by having as Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe screen for Midlton. Good luck with the maze:
Antetokounmpo will hunt down the smallest players in Toronto. If these players are on Brogdon or Mirotic, Milwaukee will select Antetokounmpo against one of them. Kyle Lowry is a 6-foot fire hydrant with limbs, but Antonokunmpo will understand it in a short time.
The first option: Pascal Siakam
Siakam drew the vast majority of Antonokunmpo's duty in the regular season, with Leonard mainly processing Midlton. There is something for both teams that live their second choice by defending a superstar if it means vaporizing option number 2.
Siakam has contours of the Horfordian defender who can at least make Antetokounmpo sweat, although not so thick. Even as the driver of the now closed victory of Pascal Siak, I must admit that Antecocunmpo was very comfortable going to Spicy P. If Antoquointrup runs too easily to the edge, Toronto was in trouble. They will have to either live with her, help the shooters who punished such help throughout the season (3-point Beldso is always the leader), close Leonard, drag Ibac, or throw the game in another way.
you can twist the aid and restore the needle. The movement of Toronto defense is ferocious, fast and smart. He is turning from the moon – not behind him. But nobody has yet received an answer to Antecocunmpo. It can take superhuman bilateral efforts from Leonard.
When Toronto holds the Guard of Kawhi Leonard
Unlike the GoT guys, Mike Budholholzer does not work in the service of fans: Chris Middleton
as it should be bad for Milwaukee. Leonard has the size, strength and athleticism of Midlton.
But Midlton coped well with the job. Middleton seems to get Leonard's rhythm. Two generations play in the same methodical, start-and-stop-pace. Middleton was a good coercion for Leonard to withdraw from the election – it is necessary, because Lopez hangs in the paint. If Leonard comes to the other side of Gazol with a room behind her, he will be able to let go of the depths.
Middleton rested well on Leonard's thighs, and planted him in the middle. Yes, this is Leonard's sweet spot. Bucks does not care. They will live with challenged long 2-points from Leonard. They do not think that any player can defeat them in this way. They are probably right.
Expect that Lopez will start at Gasol, although his return style seems to give open 3-point for both Gasol (on pickup and pop) and star tortois handlers. That is why Shesteri removed Joel Embiyad from Gosol and concealed it on the Siacama. Why did not Milwaukee copy it, sticking Lopez to the Siacam, and have a more ranking sort (probably Antecunmppo) to wipe out the assault of Gasol?
They will not be able, if they are not forced, and the rate is not necessary here. They did not switch matches like this for Kyrie Irving / Horford pick-and-roll, and this partnership is likely to represent more immediate "3-pointer!" danger to the defense of Lopez than any other Toronto duo.
Lowry and Leonard can launch the 3rd place, but this is not their first choice. Leonard wants to be buried in the middle range. Many high-wire Lowry, fast-release 3s come to tighten during the transition period, and from the catch in half the court. (Lowry will have to take and do some flots for Raptors to win this series. VanVleet has to find his jumper.)
Raptors might be better off getting Leonard in the block against Middleton. Leonard could pull the bulldozer closer to the edge, help and unlock three 3s.
They could have Gazol and Ibac to lift them to the floor, so that Leonard and Lowry have a space to rhythm before starting the 3s.
Another idea: Slingshot Leonard on the Gasol screens, so that he is in full swing with the airspace behind him when he receives it. They could launch Leonard in a corner, and then take him off the screen from Lowry before he arrives at Gosol. If this first choice with Lowry makes the switch even better;
But there is another great reason why Milwaukee may not be afraid of Lopez-on-Gasol: Gasol is even more reluctant than Harford. Bax scheme is a game of mind. They take part in the fact that most great people simply do not want to take away all the open looks Milwaukee can give. These bigs get skittish. They feel guilty. Do I really just have to keep shooting? But I'm the center! Is not it selfish?
Lopez is better than you think when you get involved and returns to his own person. He has a good time. It can exit to a 3-point arc if needed. He will switch to Lowry and Leonard in emergencies, and the bank for other Bucks swarm from smaller Toronto shooters. (This worked against Irving and Boston. Toronto, as a rule, has a better overall shooting.)
This installation leaves Antetokounmpo on Siakam, the worst distant shooter in the starting lineup of Toronto. (Siakam shot 42 percent on the corner of the 3s, but only 17-of-63 at the longer-top three-tear.) Antetokounmpo may rove more, but no one covers so much territory so quickly. Antetokounmpo is a devastating, demoralizing help from a defender – a long-time armed phantom who once everywhere at once. He can help and come back on time to compete with the places of Siacama. He is the best defender of the Milwaukee mandarin, and Bucks prefers to keep him in the positions he can do.
He should be able to swallow a jazz elbow, a foam insulating game. You might note that Siakam scored 24 points per game against Milwaukee on average by 64% shooting.
List me as a skeptic. He has done a lot of damage to Ill and the other Bucks, who should not spend so much time protecting him now as the NBA.com matchmaking tool and Second Spectrum. He fired well against Antecunmppo, but not often. (Siakam went 11-from-17 to more than 116 general possessions along with Antecounmppo as his main defender for NBA.com, he made 19 shots against Ilyasova for only 60 possessions. Again: these data are far from perfect.)
Siakam good , but Antecukunmpo can cope with it. I like to use Antetokounmpo to bring Siakama from the series as a scorer.
Siakam is fearless. He does not suffer from the attacks of doubtful fluctuations that occur in both Lowry and Gosoli – basketball snobs in the best sense, whose complex snobbery can still work against Raptors. Make these two pick up the shot of Siacama, and they can ignore – and condemn Toronto's crime in this process. The disadvantage is that they can really go crazy and shoot, and continue to shoot and bury Bucks under open jumpers. Milwaukee will have to adjust or just pull up.
Okay, but what if that does not work? Will we get Kavu-Giannis Bowl?
If Leonard brutalizes Midlton, everything becomes very interesting. Antetokounmpo is probably the perfect defender for Leonard – he is the perfect defender for most players – and he may have more than Leonard left in the tank; In the last 37 days, Antetokounmpo has played all nine games. Milwaukee will not have difficulty switching matches, so Antecukamppo defends Leonard.
Will they do it from the position of strength or position of weakness – because they want, or because they should?
Each good series makes the team distort ourselves. Antetokounmpo will get turns both on Leonard, and on Gasol. they were (basically) the only circumstances in which Antecukumpomo defended Horford. Milwaukee in those moments can abandon its base defense and turn on the switching mode.
Watch out for: Malcolm Brogdon
t Brogdon is a legitimate 40-percent archer with 3 points, and perhaps the best driver in Milwaukee.
He was, perhaps unpredictably, the second option of Milwaukee, defending Leonard. Budenholzer was impressively not afraid of this, and Brogdon stayed pretty well
Leonard Playoff is another thing. Brogdon returned from his leg injury. If he does, he will get a chance for Leonard. Holding Brugdon as a reserve will allow Budenholtser to have one on the floor of Brodon and Midlton all the time for Leonard's duty. (This will also force Mirotic to protect Green when the starters are in contact with him; the rapists may want to run Greene around even more than usual and see if Mirotyk can be held). set of matches Who is the first cave? Is there a cave? The answers tell a lot about how the series happens – and who wins.