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: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Serge Ibaka

After being acquired from the Magic on Valentine’s Day, Serge Ibaka has slid right into the rotation in Toronto. Averaging 14.2 points, 6.8 boards, and 1.4 blocks as a Raptor, Ibaka is a great third fiddle to accompany stars Lowry and DeRozan.

One of Ibaka’s biggest strengths isn’t something you normally expect from a great rim protector. This season, Ibaka is shooting 39.2 percent from three. As discussed earlier, Giannis excels at rim protection. Unfortunately, he’ll struggle to be in position to change shots at the rim while matched with Ibaka.

Likewise, Ibaka has also always been a renowned rim protector. Ibaka will create problems for this Bucks team considering they make their living in the paint. He’ll undoubtedly make life harder for Giannis, as he has held him under his season average in points in each of their four meetings this season.

If Ibaka can slow Giannis, and keep him from protecting the rim, the Bucks are in danger. Out of all the power forwards in the East, Ibaka might be the best suited to limiting Giannis, and if Giannis can’t play at 100 percent, the Bucks will be sent home quickly.