Milwaukee Bucks: 4 storylines to watch for over second half of season

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 04: (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 04: (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Fourth storyline to watch for with the Milwaukee Bucks — Improving their defense

After having the best defense in each of the last two years, the Bucks have taken a big step back on that end of the floor this year.

The reasons behind their slide are very understandable, especially within the context of offenses being far more high-powered all around the league. For one, the Bucks’ drop-back scheme has been utterly dissected and the Bucks have made a conscious decision to incorporate more switching and varied coverages to slow down opposing offenses as well as playing more small-ball lineups.

Secondly, the Bucks’ defensive personnel, while arguably the best it’s been at the very top after adding someone of Holiday’s caliber, isn’t as great compared to last year’s squad in particular. Save for Torrey Craig, who has been cast out of the Bucks’ rotation to this point, all of their offseason additions come with significant defensive limitations.

All of those factors have led to the Bucks ranking 12th in defensive efficiency this season. It’s a fine spot to be in considering, but they certainly could get better going into this critical part of the season.

This is the necessary evil the Bucks are embracing this season to get them more battle tested and adaptable come playoff time. Getting down the nuances of how to switch as a defensive unit has been an ongoing process on the court and the same rings true of communicating with one another, especially after starting from a blank slate in that regard and with limited practice time at best.

The second half will be very important for the defense because of how quickly the playoffs will come around and that’s when the real examination of this team will be, regardless of if and when the Bucks get the defensive reinforcements they desire.

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With all of these storylines to follow and so many more, we’ll just have to see how the second half of the Bucks’ 2020-21 season will all unfold.