3 adjustments for the Milwaukee Bucks after first two games vs. Boston

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

No. 3 – The Milwaukee Bucks must slow down Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown

On defense, it’s hard to complain about what the Bucks have done these whole playoffs. They sport a league-best 96.9 defensive rating, according to NBA.com/stats, and outside of Game 2 of the Chicago series, have shown extraordinary effort on that end.

There is one thing the Bucks need to clean up in this Boston series though, and that’s not letting Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown get going. The Bucks were extremely effective in this defensive strategy in Game 1, as the two Celtics stars combined to shoot 10-of-31 from the field for 33 points. In Game 2 though, things changed in a big way. The two combined to go 21-of-38 from the field for 59 points. If the Bucks clamp down on the two stars though, things start to look daunting for the role players. That would mean the Marcus Smarts and Grant Williams of the world would have to knock down shots. It wouldn’t just be a luxury for the Celtics like it was in Game 2.

Slowing down both of the Celtics stars is obviously not an easy task, though. Wesley Matthews and Jrue Holiday have to be extremely physical and stay connected to their guy the entire game. Brook Lopez must be active in the pick and roll and showing high a lot of the time. But the Bucks showed they can do that and sustain it through four quarters. Now, even if the Bucks do that, it doesn’t mean that Tatum and Brown will shoot 33 percent from the field like in Game 1. Brown hit a lot of tough contested shots in Game 2 that the Bucks were comfortable with him taking. But when you take that and combine it with a few open looks that let him get in a rhythm, you end up with Game 2 where Jaylen Brown was 9-of-10 from the field at one point.

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The Milwaukee Bucks are in for an absolute dogfight against these tough Boston Celtics, but if they can execute their game plan and focus on these three aspects, they should be feeling pretty good about their chances.