Milwaukee Bucks: Analyzing the Giannis Antetokounmpo/Serge Ibaka Matchup

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /


While Toronto’s offense works to negate some of Giannis’ length and rim protection by spacing the floor and keeping him stuck on a shooter, the exact opposite holds true for the Bucks’ offense. The Bucks rank third in the league in points in the paint, but this rim attacking style allows Ibaka to stay around the paint and do exactly what he does best.

Antetokounmpo played really well against the Raptors this season, averaging 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks on 58.8 percent shooting, but only one of those matchups saw him come up against Ibaka.

Giannis is skilled enough to adapt to get the better of Ibaka, but it will be interesting to see what kind of bearing the Raptors’ forward’s shot blocking has on the game.

Ibaka has also played well against the Bucks on the year. In his only game against the Bucks in a Raptors uniform, he led the team in scoring on an efficient 7-11 shooting night.

His scoring average of 18 points per game against Milwaukee with both Orlando and Toronto is higher than his season average overall. That has a lot to do with his ability to knock down an open jump shot. This may be Ibaka’s biggest strength against an overly aggressive Milwaukee defense that is often hurt by the corner three, and it’s worth noting that he’s shot 61.5 percent from deep in four games against Milwaukee this year.

In the lone game that the Bucks and Raptors have played since Ibaka has been in Toronto the Bucks found a way to overcome a horrendous first quarter and win the game. However, none of the four games that the Bucks and Raptors have played this year will be an accurate representation of this series due to the fact that the players on the court during this series will not match any of those games.

The Bucks had Jabari Parker for the first three games but were without Khris Middleton. Toronto on the other hand was missing DeRozan for one of the match-ups, Lowry for another, and Ibaka was only a member of the Raptors for the final match-up. All of these moving parts makes it very difficult to imagine how this series will play out.