Milwaukee Bucks: Analyzing Tony Snell/DeMar DeRozan Matchup

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /


On the defensive side of the ball is where this matchup evens out. Clearly DeMar DeRozan is the superior offensive talent, but Tony Snell has spent the year as an impressively competent and pesky defender.

Tony Snell’s traditional defensive stats (0.4 steals and 0.2 blocks per game) certainly don’t leap off the page, but that’s not to say he hasn’t had an impact of the defensive side of the ball. Snell has shown the ability to guard smaller guys, too, sometimes taking on playmaking point guards.

The ability to play off the ball and pressure at the top of the key in Jason Kidd‘s frantic defense has pestered many prolific offensive studs this season. Despite playing a lot of switches, he’s quick to closeout around the three-point line.

Also, I don’t think Snell has ever given up a fast break layup. Don’t believe me? Just wait for it. There will be at least one time this postseason when Snell will be playing one-on-one defense, the guy will go up, and Tony will wrap him up and nearly tackle him. But he’ll pat the dude on the back or the head, and inexplicably, there won’t be a fight. Take that prediction to the bank.

For DeRozan, however, defense has never been his particular strength.

Since acquiring P.J. Tucker and Serge Ibaka around the trade deadline, the entire team’s defense has picked up, including DeRozan’s defense. Or his shortcomings are hidden by the two new high-level defenders on the court. Whatever is really happening, the effort DeRozan has on the defensive end of the court has been noticed by his teammates, including the aforementioned Tucker.

"“He’s been chasing guys off screens, rebounding the ball, he’s been doing things on defence and doing what he does on offence. I think with him doing that, it’s just going to propel us (further).”"

DeRozan will likely guard Snell, where he will have to use both his physical and mental skills to keep Snell from getting too comfortable camping behind the three-point line waiting to be thrown dish-outs from Giannis. Too many switches and sinking too far to help in the paint often leads to a lot of open Snell looks.

And as Bucks fans, you know how deflating giving up a couple of open threes can be. Sigh.