Milwaukee Bucks playoff opponent spotlight: DeMar DeRozan

Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jordan Nwora, Wesley Matthews, Chicago Bulls: DeMar DeRozan
Mar 4, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

How will the Milwaukee Bucks try to defend DeMar DeRozan?

Alright, so we’ve gone over just about everything relevant to DeMar DeRozan and the Milwaukee Bucks from this season and in the past, so what are the Bucks going to do about it?

Milwaukee has a couple of guys they can, and will, throw at DeRozan (as well as his scoring partner Zach LaVine).

Wesley Matthews and Jrue Holiday have been credited as defending 58 DeRozan shots and have held him to 48 percent shooting on 2-point attempts while DeRozan has drawn six combined shooting fouls on them. 48 percent on 2s isn’t great defense, but it also isn’t a huge scoring outburst on DeRozan’s end.

How he fares against those two are two of the biggest matchups in this series and if Chicago has any hope of upsetting Milwaukee, it will need DeRozan to cook one (or both) of Matthews and Holiday.

While a lot of the focus will be on his scoring, and rightfully so, he’s been one of the best shot-makers all season, the bigger concern will be to not let him also create for his teammates as well.

This was something we saw the Bucks do in a couple of series last year against the Brooklyn Nets with Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns with Devin Booker where they dared those guys to shoot and score while containing the rest of the guys on the floor. They essentially dared those guys to beat them and they couldn’t.

Durant talked about this in his recent podcast collaboration with J.J. Redick, where the Bucks decided Durant wasn’t going to beat them by himself and let him get whatever he wanted while making sure none of the other guys contributed as much. Durant nearly did beat the Bucks by himself, but admitted he was exhausted by the end of it.

Booker scored 58 points and added 12 assists in the first two games of the Finals when the Suns beat the Bucks by a combined 23 points. In the final four games, Booker had 12 assists total but went off for two 40-point games.

I’m curious if they take a similar approach with DeRozan where they lock up his supporting cast while letting him get to his spots. He can score 30-plus points, but the danger comes if he’s setting up his teammates and they’re able to contribute as well.

He’s had some great scoring games this season against the Bucks, but if they can keep the rest of the Bulls roster under control (primarily LaVine and Nikola Vucevic) then it almost doesn’t matter how many points DeRozan scores if he isn’t getting help.

Next. 3 big questions for Milwaukee Bucks going into Chicago Bulls playoff series. dark

We’ll find out what head coach Mike Budenholzer and the Milwaukee Bucks have in store for DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 on Sunday.