BTBP Roundtable: First Impressions of the 2015-16 Milwaukee Bucks

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Nov 2, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward

Thaddeus Young

(30) shoots over Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

3. The defense has been gradually cranking up, do you feel it’s just a matter of time before we see a repeat of last year’s defense or is that going to be too much of a reach?

AM: I think they can get back to being close to that level, but it will be interesting to see if the discipline that the veteran presences bolstered them with last year is lacking this time around. I think it’s natural for them to shift their emphasis a little anyway, because the offensive/defensive disparity last season wasn’t sustainable for success.

TW: They won’t get to last season’s level, not with Giannis exerting way more energy on offense and the loss of Jared Dudley, Zaza Pachulia and a Parker/Greg Monroe frontcourt. But they might get pretty good or even just good, which would probably be enough considering the offensive firepower this team has.

JT: I don’t know about a top two defense but I think we see something close to it for sure. The new players, for the most part, look more comfortable in the defensive scheme over the last couple of games but I think the return of Henson has had a huge effect on the team. It’s only been two games for him but it looks like his play in the Bulls’ series wasn’t a fluke.

JW: The defense has been much improved since the first three games of the season, which of course is great. But I’m not sure yet if that’s a product of Kidd’s defensive mind or if it’s a product of playing some not so good teams. If they can hold teams like Cleveland or Washington the next time they meet them to under 100 points I might be convinced this can be a good defensive team like a season ago.

JK: I see no reason why this defense wont be just as good as last year. We lost our two biggest communicators on the defensive end(Dudley and Zaza) but already we have seen the defense improve drastically. The rotations have been much sharper and double teams are becoming much more effective, two important elements in J-Kidd’s defense. The more this group gels, the better the defense will be.

JH: I don’t think our defense will reach last years heights but I do think we will be a top 10 defensive unit by years end with the potential to be top five. I also think in the playoffs we will be able to turn on the defensive pressure and give certain teams a lot of problems. The Bucks have a lot of new faces so it is going to take a little more time for everything to come together.

AE: Last year’s defense took a little while to get up to speed too. So there’s no need for concern quite yet. But it also was a greater need last year with absolutely no offense besides Middleton. The only way for the Bucks to win games was to keep the other team in double digits. The addition of Moose changes that slightly, but I would expect them to at least be top 10 by the end of the season.

MH: I think there can be a repeat of last year’s defense. The Bucks biggest success was the scheme that was implemented and that’s not going away. Monroe is bemoaned as a terrible defender and I don’t think that’s quite fair. He’s had troubles adapting to this defense, but he’s a rookie in that regard. He’s not a great rim protector but neither was Zaza. They’ve improved from being the 30th ranked team defense to now being ranked 15th. At that rate they’ll be the top ranked defense in another couple of weeks, right, guys? Guys?

Next: Is Giannis Going To Consistently Perform This Well?