3 keys for Milwaukee Bucks in season series finale vs Toronto Raptors

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Matthews. Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 05: (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks’ transition offense & defense will need to be sharp against the Toronto Raptors

Perhaps one of the most surprising stats (to me) this season is that the Bucks have struggled to score efficiently in transition this season. After being in the top 10 most efficient transition offenses for six of the last seven seasons (and they were 11th in the other season), the Bucks are 26th this season, per Cleaning the Glass (subscription required).

It was always assumed that simply having Giannis Antetokounmpo at his peak would be an automatic top-half transition offense, but the Bucks are putting that theory to the test this season.

The Raptors, by contrast, are one of the 10 best transition offenses in the NBA once again. Their defense forces a ton of turnovers which allows them to use their size, length, and speed to get out and run for easy buckets.

In their most recent matchup, the Bucks transition offense was dreadful. In terms of points added per 100 possessions, their transition offense was nearly minus-10. Not great!

Having Antetokounmpo for this matchup will inherently make things easier for them to score in transition (and in general), but that hasn’t necessarily been the case this season.

Milwaukee’s transition defense has still been very good and that will be a big key in controlling Toronto’s offense. Pascal Siakam is a menace in the open floor and he’s been playing at an All-Star level for the last month and a half or so. The Raptors could be without a couple of key pieces in Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. (both missed last night’s game), so getting easy buckets in transition will be a bigger focus for them.