Milwaukee Bucks: 3 keys to victory when hosting Indiana Pacers

Mar 4, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Mar 4, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 3
Mar 4, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
Mar 4, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Milwaukee Bucks are getting to set to take on their divisional rival, the Indiana Pacers, for the first time this 2020-21 season on Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.

Milwaukee certainly got back on the right track with their 28-point rout over the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night that put a halt to their losing skid. Now standing at 12-8 on the season, the Bucks seek to gain consistency after riding some uncharacteristic ups and downs this season.

More from Bucks News

They meet against a Pacers team that trails them in the Eastern Conference standings at 12-9 following their 134-116 win over the Memphis Grizzlies

The Pacers entered this season with very little changes in terms of their personnel. The biggest change they dealt over the offseason was firing former head coach Nate McMillan and replacing him with former Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren.

Since then, they shook up their roster by dealing away two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo as part of the James Harden trade. But their prized acquisition of Caris LeVert has been paused as the fifth-year wing recovers from removing a cancerous mass on his kidney.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the 3 biggest keys that will ensure a Milwaukee Bucks victory over the Indiana Pacers ahead of Wednesday night’s clash.

First key when hosting Indiana Pacers – Milwaukee Bucks block off basket

Under Bjorkgren, the Pacers have undergone some significant stylistic changes, especially offensively. Where they once were a mid-range heavy team, the Pacers’ bread and butter comes directly at the rim and the paint overall.

In fact, no team in the league has made more field goals and the Pacers rank first in the NBA with 54.9 paint points, per It certainly helps to have one of the best and most prolific interior scorers in the league in Domantas Sabonis, who is averaging 14.3 paint points per game this season, and the Pacers have a multitude of on-ball playmakers and scorers who all combine to average 51.2 drives per game.

With the kind of pressure they put on their opponents at the rim, the Pacers rank seventh in offensive efficiency with a 112.6 offensive rating.

Of course, the Pacers are slated to go against a Bucks team whose defensive identity centers around limiting the paint to their opponents. Even for all of the defensive struggles that continue to mount for the Bucks, they still have allowed the second-fewest opponent paint points (39.9) through their 20 games this season.

Even as the Bucks continue to experiment with different defensive coverages this season, they’ll go up against an Indiana squad that won’t test their defensive limitations at the very least. But holding up to one of the more paint-centric offenses in the league will be a must for the Bucks going into Wednesday night.