Milwaukee Bucks: Maintaining league-leading pace will be a priority

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 20: (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 20: (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

As the NBA looks to restart their 2019-20 season, the Milwaukee Bucks will be faced with the challenge of trying to resume their league-leading pace.

With the NBA having finalized their plans to restart the 2019-20 season, the Milwaukee Bucks are getting set to resume their pursuit of a championship.

While the Bucks will be looked at as a team to beat, given their dominance throughout the season and compiling a 53-12 record, they, along with the 21 other teams set to travel to Walt Disney World, will virtually have to start from scratch to regain the rhythm that made them so dangerous in the first place.

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That includes rebuilding their game shape to play at the breakneck speed that has been a constant throughout the Mike Budenholzer era in Milwaukee.

Since the reigning NBA Coach of the Year’s arrival to the organization more than two years ago, the Bucks have caught up with the times and have been the standard bearers when it comes to turning on their collective engines and playing end-to-end basketball.

After ranking fifth in the NBA in pace last season, the Bucks have assumed the top spot in that department by upping their pace from 103.5 possessions per game to 105.3 possessions per game year over year, per

Undergoing that drastic of a jump has helped the Bucks further establish their identity and overall brand of basketball under Budenholzer and led by the likes of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, and so on.

Of course, all Bucks players have increasingly been able to regain their game shape and build up their fitness a month before they’ll be able to take part in a second training camp ahead of the July 31 restart date. And being able to recover and hit their peak game shape is directly correlated to one of their core tenets under Budenholzer’s watch.

Milwaukee’s breakneck pace permeates their ability to score on the break and in transition, where they have the third-highest amount of fast break points per game (18.6) and have the second-highest frequency of plays in transition this season. The Bucks also have the second-lowest average time of possession behind the Houston Rockets.

Being able to play and control the pace as they have throughout the season and still be able to be the top-ranked defensive unit in the league by a wide margin makes their identity and fundamentals all the more unique to them.

With this restart to the season coming four-and-a-half months after they last officially set foot on an NBA floor for game action, the Bucks will have to make quick work in being able to play at the pace they have aspired to play over the last two years.

Having players like Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe that can set and control such a high tempo of play already gives them a head start in that regard. But it will still be interesting to see how far along the Bucks will be in terms of being able to carry on with their fast-paced nature.

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We’re seven-and-a-half weeks away from the restart to the NBA season and the Bucks will be faced with many challenges when they’re able to resume what was shaping up to be a dream season. And going as far as being able to set the up-tempo tone they are synonymous with could be among the most overlooked things to watch at that point.