Prior to Monday night’s showdown, the last time the Indiana Pacers faced the Milwaukee Bucks was on December 13. It was the Bucks who prevailed in that game, with Giannis Antetokounmpo dropping a career-high 64 points in what turned out to be a highly controversial encounter between these two Central Division rivals.
Giannis still dropped a game-high 30 points on Monday night, but what matters the most was that the Pacers were able to even the score with a 122-113 victory over Milwaukee at the Fiserv Forum.
Rick Carlisle Speaks on Matchup Vs. Milwaukee Bucks Star Giannis Antetokounmpo
Given how dominant Antetokounmpo has been against the Pacers, it would only be logical to think that Indiana would have some sort of game plan against the former back-to-back MVP. Speaking to reporters ahead of Monday’s showdown, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle conceded that he was faced with a gargantuan objective:
“It’s a big task, for sure,” Carlisle said of trying to plan against Antetokounmpo, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
When asked what type of defensive scheme he intended to implement against the former back-to-back MVP, the veteran coach decided to throw back the question to the press:
“Got any ideas?” Carlisle responded.
“Look, his greatness is unquestioned. The problems he creates are massive. We’re continuing to work on it. There’s no one blueprint that’s fool proof or that’s going to for sure work. They’ve got a lot of shooting around him, so that makes it hard, too. So…yeah.”
To be fair to the Pacers, they made life difficult for Giannis on Monday night. They double-teamed him in the post and showed him help defense whenever he attempted to drive to the basket. The seven-time All-Star still scored more than a few points in their latest matchup, but the important thing is that Indiana came home with the W.
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