In recent games, the Bucks offense has morphed into an interesting uptempo/motion mix. Milwaukee has reached the 30 assist mark in eight of their last 12 games, and they have pummeled most opponents — especially the low-hanging, sub-.500 fruit — by keeping the ball moving.
As an observer, it’s fun to watch (and doubly so given what the Bucks dished out last season), but sometimes it happens so fast that the little things get lost. This post will be the first of a few “Pictures in Motion” sequences that illustrate the nuanced features of their offense.
The following is a play from the first quarter against the Cavaliers. Anthony Parker has missed a jumper from the right elbow, and the first picture shows the Bucks as Ersan Ilyasova lands with the rebound.
Note that all the Bucks are headed downcourt. Ellis, who was guarding the shooter on the previous play, is already past midcourt, and Jennings is ready for the ball, but moving toward his own goal.
This still frame above shows the body posture of attack. Ilyasova is going to trail the play, but that will put him in perfect position to set a screen at the top of the key to initiate the offense.
Ersan gets set to move in. He plant himself at the top of the three-point circle to allow Jennings to work from right to left — his natural left-handed action.
Ersan moves in just as Brandon starts left, but then PFFFT.
Ilyasova slips the screen before contact. Kyrie Irving is trying to chase over a screen, but Tristan Thompson has already hedged from the other side.
Help comes from the corner defenders, but it’s too late. Ersan had enough space and time to get his work done.
See the play in action here. In the still shots, it may look like a trap defense by the Cavs, but in full speed, it appears that Ersan pulled a quick one over on Irving and Thompson.