Keys to Turning the Milwaukee Bucks Season Around

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Dec 5, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard

Michael Carter-Williams

(5) passes the ball downcourt during the game against the New York Knicks in the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks beat the Knicks 106-91. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports


The second thing the Milwaukee Bucks must improve is their movement.

Many times this season, the Bucks have had poor stretches on offense. Whenever one of these stretches occurs, two things are always apparent: There’s no one moving off the ball, and the ball stops moving.

When the Bucks have looked their best, they’ve done both of these things well. It’s part of what contributed to their solid three quarter performance at Golden State last week. It’s also contributed to multiple wins.

The Bucks must improve on their off ball movement. When plays have broken down, the ball-handler has been isolated late in the shot clock with no outlets to pass to. This has been, arguably, the biggest contributor to the team’s turnovers so far this year.

Michael Carter-Williams in particular has often been left with the choice of taking a poor shot, or forcing a pass into tight coverage. Both choices have little prospect of succeeding.

Dec 16, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams (5) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers center

DeAndre Jordan

(6) during an NBA basketball game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If the Bucks are going to improve on their turnovers, they must do more off the ball. This means coming back towards the ball handler when they’re being pressured. It also means making cuts and getting into better shooting position when guys are getting pressured. If someone’s getting doubled, it means someone else should be open.

They must also improve on their ball movement. When the team has been at its best offensively, they’ve moved the ball efficiently, making multiple quick passes to set guys up.

Unlike most teams, the Bucks can’t rely on floor spacing to create open shots. Only one starter out of theif key starting five (MCW, Middleton, Antetokounmpo, Parker, Monroe) is shooting better than 30% from three this season. This leaves the team with two options: 1) Sit some of their key guys, like Jabari Parker or Michael Carter-Williams, for guys who can shoot, OR 2) move the ball as fast and as often as possible.

The Bucks should be one of the best passing teams in the league. Every player on the team has at or above average passing skills for their position. The team also lacks the required floor spacers to replace their starters with. Thus, the only real option left, besides a trade, is to improve on ball-movement.

The team has shown that it can move the ball well. In their two most recent wins, the Bucks have racked up 25 and 34 assists respectively. Thus, if the Bucks are going to turn their season around, they need to move the ball as much as possible.

Next: Upping the Tempo