Amid all the question marks surrounding their defense early in the season, the Milwaukee Bucks showed all of us on Monday night what they can do on the defensive end when they’re on their game. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in particular, reminded everyone that he was once deemed the best defender in the entire NBA with his elite rim protection against the Nets.
Defense has always been part of Milwaukee’s identity, and they took a significant step toward that direction on Monday night.
Milwaukee Bucks Are Going to be ‘Dangerous’
Veteran swingman Pat Connaughton also played his part in the Nets win. The 30-year-old came off the bench to log 10 points, two triples, a rebound, and three assists in 19 minutes of action.
The Bucks also called upon Connaughton in the final half-minute of the game to allow them to switch all around the perimeter defensively. Cam Thomas and Mikal Bridges were torching Milwaukee from the outside, and Griffin just had to provide a countermeasure late in the game to secure the win.
After the game, Connaughton sent a bit of a warning to the rest of the NBA in terms of the type of defense they can expect from the Bucks moving forward:
“The versatility, I think, its what’s going to make us dangerous in the long run,” Connaughton said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s also something that obviously makes us a little bit, ah, inconsistent at the moment in time. But we’re looking to try to build our arsenal shall we say. We’re looking to have a lot of tools in the toolbox. For us part of that is making sure we can do more than one thing, especially on the defensive end. I think it’ll help us in the long run just get better at communicating, which really is what playoff basketball is.”
The Bucks were able to downsize with Connaughton in crunch time because of the fact that they still had Giannis on the floor. Antetokounmpo played the five role for Milwaukee down the stretch, and it paid off handsomely for the squad.
If they keep on playing like this, it’s only right that Connaughton already has his sights set on the playoffs (and beyond) this early on.
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