Switching it up
As they’ve done very successfully in brief and sporadic bursts when the situation has called for it throughout the year, the Bucks mixed things up defensively on Saturday night, and ultimately picked apart the Hornets with a switching defense.
Of course, the Hornets were no strangers to this look as the Bucks dismantled James Borrego’s team in the fourth quarter of their previous meeting by turning to a small-ball lineup and switching everything for a 32-12 period.
On this occasion, switching didn’t necessarily equate to going small, though, as Brook Lopez more than held his own as the Bucks mixed things up on the defensive side of the ball.
The Hornets playing small essentially created their own downfall, as it forced the Bucks into searching for counters. What’s most important of all, though, is the fact Milwaukee found an effective counter that still retained their core principles, and in turn offered a major mismatch in their favor offensively.
Lopez’s outstanding offensive night goes hand-in-hand with the Bucks’ success switching defensively, and his individual effort to hold his own in that regard. It’s also true to say the Bucks possess impressive focus and discipline when they do switch, though, at times looking like the extra demands sharpen their attention span and overall intensity.
The expectation of most is the Bucks will be required to switch much more frequently during the playoffs, and with that in mind, performances like this one are certainly encouraging in the run-up to the postseason.
The Bucks will have no time to rest as they return to action on Sunday night for a 7pm CT tip-off on the road against the San Antonio Spurs.