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: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /


Overall, it is pretty clear that Giannis has the edge in an individual match-up with Serge Ibaka.

If outplaying Ibaka meant that the Bucks would win this series I think all of Milwaukee would feel pretty confident. This, as we all know, is not the case though. Giannis has the enormous task of not only having to win his individual match-up but also outplaying Toronto’s best players.

The Giannis and Ibaka pairing will still play a large role in the series due to the adjustments that Ibaka forces Giannis to make in his defensive game. If Giannis can’t impact the game on the defensive end of the floor with his length, the Bucks don’t stand much of a chance.

The Bucks will have to find a way to allow Giannis to use his go-go-gadget arms to help protect the rim while not allowing Ibaka to repetitively hurt them with the corner three.

This match-up is more about who can impact the game more for their team than it is about these two squaring off head-to-head. The Bucks’ defense does so much switching that Giannis will often defend different players.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: Recent History Against Toronto Raptors

The key for the Bucks is for Giannis to take his game to another level as superstars must do in the playoffs and for the Bucks to minimize Ibaka’s impact by running him off the three-point line and finishing strong at the rim.