Milwaukee Bucks: Key Player Matchups in Potential First Round Playoff Meetings

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Markieff Morris vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis is having an incredible season, both offensively and defensively. Only a handful of players in the league are on the same level as Giannis, and fortunately, Markieff Morris is not one of them. However, Morris is a fine role player, and if he plays to his strengths, he could help limit the impact that Giannis will have on the game.

One area where Giannis has excelled this year is as a rim protector. While he leads the team in blocks, he also affects many more shots. Of all players who have played in over 50 games, Giannis is ninth in holding opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in shots less than six feet from the basket.

One way that the Wizards will try to limit the influence Giannis has at the rim is by keeping him further away. Morris will play a huge role in this, since he’ll likely be who Giannis sees the most of in terms of direct matchups. Morris is enjoying a career best year from behind the arc, averaging 35.9 percent on 2.6 attempts per game. If Giannis isn’t able to smother shots at the rim thanks to having to guard Morris at the three-point line, the Wizards could feast inside.

Morris can’t really hope to keep up with Giannis. Morris isn’t a poor defender, but Giannis still managed to put up 29.7 points per game against the Wizards this year. But the impact of keeping Giannis from rim protecting could be the difference in what would be a hard-fought series.