It was good to see the Milwaukee Bucks secure a win on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies in their final preseason game. The Big 3 of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and Khris Middleton finally made their trio debut, albeit quite briefly, as the Bucks defeated the Grizzlies, 124-116.
As with any preseason game, however, Friday’s contest was also a chance for the coaching staff to determine what adjustments need to be made ahead of their season opener on October 26 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach Adrian Griffin Wants Better Closeouts
For head coach Adrian Griffin, one thing, in particular, stood out in their victory against Memphis. It was a hard-fought victory for the Bucks, and it could have very easily gone in the opposite direction.
According to Griffin, one thing he’s looking for his team to improve on is their ability to close out the opposition’s marksmen:
“What I didn’t like was our closing out short to shooters, especially after they’ve shown they were hot,” Griffin said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “They were knocking them down, and they were really good shooters. You can’t close short to shooters. You gotta be there on the catch, chest to chest, make them bounce to the sideline, make them go to a second or third option.
“I thought we were a bit stubborn with adjusting to the way they were shooting the ball. Sometimes, teams get really hot and you gotta apply a little bit more pressure and make them do something else. Make them put it on the floor. Make them finish at the rim, or make them make another decision. But that’s correctable. I thought overall, the effort was there. We just gotta clean up a few things.”
One play that drew the ire of Griffin involved MarJon Beauchamp failing to close out on Grizzlies forward David Roddy. The latter ended up scoring a trey, and Griffin immediately called a time-out to speak with Beauchamp about the defensive mistake.
As Griffin said, however, he believes in his team’s abilities to correct their mistakes. After all, this is exactly what the preseason is for. The objective now is that the players learn from their shortcomings for when the actual battle begins.
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