Milwaukee Bucks: What’s trending through first two weeks of season

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown
Dec 23, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA (Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Milwaukee Bucks’ 3-point defense has been a falling trend.

While the Bucks are blitzing their opponents with their 3-point shooting, they’ve done little to stop their opponents on the defensive end.

As is set up in their system under Budenholzer, the Bucks have long struggled to defend the weak side three pointer with their aggressive rotation style defense. For how elite their defense has been in each of the last two seasons, their Achilles heel has been letting up a historic amount of threes in that same span.

It’s safe to say that things have trended in that direction yet again this season as they’re currently tied for 27th in total opponent 3-point attempts (214). Their losses to the Celtics, Knicks and Heat saw them surrender wide-open looks and let up a combined 46.2 percent from three on 106 attempts over those nights.

Outlier shooting nights like the Knicks had be damned, the Bucks’ defense is certainly set up in a way for those kind of performances to occur, even against inferior opponents. While the Bucks have showed different defensive tactics than we’ve been used to seeing under Budenholzer, their base scheme invites opponents to launch away from deep and having a new addition like Portis try to hold his own in this regard has come with plenty of struggles.

Along with that, the Bucks haven’t been as disciplined in their defending as they have been usually as evidenced by their opponent free throw attempt rate, which ranks 12th in the league. Running shooters off the line has come with occasional shooting foul, which, in turn, has hurt their overall defensive rating.

Whatever the case may be and whether the Bucks will look to continue changing up their ways of defending as a way to mitigate their weakness of defending the 3-point line remains to be seen. But the story remains the same in this department to start out the 2020-21 season.

A 2021 New Year’s resolution for each Bucks starter. dark. Next

We’ll be back again next week to explore the various trends that will certainly come over the Bucks’ ongoing homestand. Stay tuned!