3 keys for the Milwaukee Bucks to bounce back against Utah Jazz

Oct 31, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – OCTOBER 13 (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /

How will the Milwaukee Bucks look to defend Donovan Mitchell?

There are two certainties about the Jazz offense: they’re going to get their 3-point shots up and Donovan Mitchell is going to have to create a lot.

By offensive efficiency, the Jazz are pretty clearly the best offense in the league with a 116.1 offensive rating, nearly two full points ahead of the second-best offense. They take a ton of 3s (over 43 percent of their shots are 3s, nearly seven percent above league average) and they make them at a good clip (nearly 37 percent, one and a half percent above league average), according to Cleaning the Glass (subscription required).

That can be a bit of an issue for the Bucks as they allow a bunch of above the break 3s. The Jazz don’t generate a ton of rim pressure (only 30 percent of their shots come at the rim), so a lot of that creation falls on the shoulders of Donovan Mitchell.

He is having his best season from an efficiency standpoint with a 57.4 percent true shooting and a lot of that comes from his improved 2-point shooting. He’s shooting a career-high 54.3 percent on 2-point attempts, his first season over 50 percent since his rookie year. He’s shooting nearly 73 percent at the rim this season, so the point-of-attack defense will be very important against Mitchell.

Luckily, the Bucks have a few bodies they can throw at him in Jrue Holiday and Jevon Carter, as well as wings like Khris Middleton and Wesley Matthews. Mitchell scored a game-high 28 points on 69 percent true shooting earlier this year against the Bucks, but they didn’t have any of the four guys mentioned above.

Mitchell is also posting a career-best 28.2 percent assist rate as he’s been asked to do more in that regard as Mike Conley has taken a step back.

Jordan Clarkson is also someone who can explode for a big night (he had 45 points against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday), but Mitchell is, of course, the priority.