Continued Defensive Pressure
One of the most apparent changes to how the Bucks have played in the preseason as opposed to last season has been the return of the high-pressure, switching defense that made them so successful in 2014-15.
Although Milwaukee didn’t shy away from looking to implement that same defensive strategy last year, their personnel were neither skilled or disciplined enough to be able to execute as required. The early signs on how this year’s group will cope with that defensive scheme are certainly promising though.
With Matthew Dellavedova in tow, the Bucks are taking no possessions off, and the full-court press is going to pester opposing guards on each and every play.
With greater pressure on the ball-handler from the moment the ball is inbounded, options and angles are significantly reduced, and a byproduct of that has been the long-armed switching being particularly effective.
The impacts range from Thon Maker providing an immediate contribution thanks to his size and posting a defensive rating of 94.5 in four games, to Jabari Parker picking off passes in the lane for an average of 1.4 steals per game.
Milwaukee’s overall defensive rating of 101.0 so far may appear to be middle of the road, but considering some of the dramatic collapses the Bucks have had in multiple of their games to date, those numbers are more impressive than they may appear on first glance.