BTBP Roundtable: How Can The Bucks Beat The Raptors?

Apr 30, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks fans hold up a sign during the game against the Chicago Bulls in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Chicago won 120-66. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks fans hold up a sign during the game against the Chicago Bulls in game six of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Chicago won 120-66. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

What does your ideal playoff rotation look like?

Schlepp: The Bucks’ most common starting lineup with Brogdon, Snell, Middleton, Giannis and Thon is going to be very important in this series. Giannis needs to be surrounded by shooters at all times to best utilize his skillset. Monroe will be hungry for post touches in his first post season, but too many takes could stifle the offense and the Raptors are not a great matchup for the Moose. A lineup I hope the Bucks roll out is Terry, Brogdon, Teletovic, Giannis and Monroe. Although they’ve only played 85 total minutes together, that lineup is arguably one of the best lineups in the league with a net rating of 37 with an Offensive Rating of 128.4 against a defensive rating of 91.4. If those small sample sizes actually translate to quality ball — which I think they will — this lineup might be the Bucks best chance to squeak out of the first round.

Harkins: Honestly, I think that the most likely starting lineup of Brogdon-Snell-Middleton-Giannis-Thon is the one I want to see the most. This is a lineup that brings solid defense all the way around, but also provides Giannis will four shooters around him. I am expecting this to be the lineup that sees the most minutes during the playoffs, considering the strong play of Thon recently, but adding Monroe to the mix would also make things interesting. Also, as I continue to stress, Teletovic having at least one breakout three-point shooting game is definitely possible and he needs the minutes to make that happen.

Treske: (opens up a drawer to grab an abacus and a weather vane, then cracks knuckles) Let the great experiment begin.

In all seriousness, I find it to be a challenge to come up with my preferred rotation, at least one that the Raptors will struggle to match. It speaks to the balance the Raptors now have throughout their roster and rotation, especially after the additions they made after the trade deadline.

As Lukas and Travis mentioned, any lineup that offers maximized shooting around Giannis plays to the Bucks’ favor, but I’m worried to see how the Raptors will match that if that were to occur.

Spanbauer: The Bucks will likely roll out their starting lineup of Brogdon-Snell-Middleton-Antetokounmpo-Maker. I don’t quite know what Maker adds specifically in ten minutes a game, or if the playoffs will give him more or less time, but I suppose I can’t argue with the logic of putting more shooters around Giannis.

The Bucks are the lesser of these two teams, so, in my opinion, it is more important for their lineup to counter whatever the Raptors are trying to do. When they are playing smaller with Ibaka at the 5, the Bucks should be able to play smaller, putting Giannis as the center, and adding Mirza to the floor. While Ibaka is a fantastic defender and rim protector, I like Giannis’ speed and skills at getting to the basket against him, rather than P.J. Tucker.

The Bucks will need to keep a lineup full of shooters on the floor to keep up with the Raptors’ offense. At this point of the season and against a team as productive as Toronto, the best plan will be to keep whoever is hot on the floor – whoever that turns out to be.

Coffman: I’m on board with Lukas’ suggestion – throw our best wing defenders at DeRozan and Lowry and let Giannis create with a spaced floor around him. That being said, Thon worries me a little in a playoff setting, which is why I would advocate for more minutes for Monroe. The Moose will surely be one of the toughest competitors on the floor for either team, not wanting to end his first playoff appearance so quickly. As far as matchups go, I’m mulling over potentially putting Thon on Ibaka, who doesn’t really have the foot speed to hurt the Bucks, and sticking Giannis on Valunciunas. That way, the Bucks will have their best rim protector waiting to stymie drives at the rim, and a Raptors offense that runs through Valunciunas is one I’m not as afraid of anyway.

Wallace: The starting lineup of Brogdon, Khris, Snell, Giannis, and Thon will see more minutes I suspect. Thon will be the only one who I can see not having his minutes increased. I like that lineup. If Delly struggles badly, I would like to see more Point Giannis. I know the playoffs aren’t a time to experiment which is why I would have liked to see it done more during the year, but a Giannis, Khris, Snell, Telly, Thon lineup can create nightmare match-ups in my opinion. That is a lot of shooting on the floor and your smallest player is 6’8″, yet you still have the versatility to guard Lowry because of Giannis’ abilities.

McGee: Assuming the starting lineup is Brogdon, Snell, Middleton, Antetokounmpo and Maker, I’d follow that up with minutes for Monroe, Dellavedova, Terry and Teletovic. I have no doubt there will be moments or games that may call for Michael Beasley’s instant offense, or for John Henson to offer relief cover for Thon a little earlier than Moose would ideally come in, but my core rotation would center around those aforementioned nine guys. Giannis needs to be at 42 minutes or more, and I’d like to see him out there with the maximum amount of spacing as often as possible.

Osterndorf: Heavy minutes for Brogdon, Snell, Khris, and Giannis. 12-20 Minutes for Thon, and the rest go to Monroe, unless they really need a three, in which case bring out Hawes. Jet comes in for Snell, Telly takes the backup forward minutes, and Delly plays when Brogdon doesn’t. Never have both Giannis and Khris off the floor at the same time. Do this and they have a shot.