One big adjustment the Milwaukee Bucks need to make for Game 5

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 03 (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Right as it looked as though the Milwaukee Bucks were on the edge of taking a 3-1 series lead over the Boston Celtics, things all fell apart in the final quarter. The Celtics couldn’t miss in the fourth and that leaves us deadlocked at 2-2, going back to Boston, and potential changes incoming.

Realistically, there’s not much you can do to counteract the Celtics’ shot-making in the final frame (which was ultimately the downfall) but there can always be changes made and things to adjust in any series whether you’re down, ahead, or tied. This was something I suggested ahead of Game 4 and didn’t happen so perhaps a loss will lead to change.

Grayson Allen should be out of the Milwaukee Bucks’ rotation for the rest of this series

I didn’t expect this to be changed in Game 4, honestly. It’s hard to rationalize making a drastic change like that after a win because, hey, if it ain’t broke, right? But seriously, most coaches are reactive instead of proactive so taking Allen out of the lineup (let alone the entire rotation) was too drastic after going up 2-1.

I’m not anti-Grayson Allen by any means. I understand the value that he has on offense with his shooting and how that opens things up for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Those two also have good chemistry where Allen knows how to get into Antetokounmpo’s line of sight with his off-ball movement for an open look.

This just isn’t the series for him.

Coming into the series, Allen was one of the X-factors after a fantastic final few games against the Chicago Bulls. They needed all of the scoring help they could get with Khris Middleton out and Allen had provided it plus more.

The Celtics were middle-of-the-pack in terms of 3-point attempts allowed in the regular season at around 35 per game. Milwaukee needed Allen’s shooting in this series and they got it in Game 1. He went 3-of-6 from 3 and had his fourth-straight double-digit scoring performance of the playoffs.

Since then, things have been rough for Allen and it might be time to switch things up.

He got a boost of confidence by being inserted into the starting lineup, which was one of the three options I explored for who they should start ahead of the series. I thought he was the weakest of the three but his spacing is valuable and figured he’d hold up well enough on defense.

I was wrong! It’s ok to admit you’re wrong, folks!

Allen has not held up well on defense and the Celtics have hunted him with regularity when he’s out there. Plus/minus isn’t everything but the Bucks are now minus-24 overall in his minutes. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are now a combined 8-of-14 against Allen.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer doesn’t have the confidence to close with him as he’s turned to Pat Connaughton in the last two games. Allen did check back in late in Game 4 with the Bucks down 10 and in need of more shooting for a desperation comeback but overall, Connaughton has been the one who slides in late. Start him! Play him as many minutes as he can handle!

Connaughton is a similar size and athletic profile to Allen, but he’s much stronger and a more willing defender. The Celtics will still hunt him but it’s a better option than Allen.

But taking Allen out of the starting five is one thing, I’m advocating for him to be out of the rotation entirely. We saw this last season with Bobby Portis in the second round last year where he was taken completely out of the rotation against the Brooklyn Nets because they were attacking him every time down the floor.

Budenholzer needs to go to a short, tight seven-man rotation with Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, Jrue Holiday, Wesley Matthews, Pat Connaughton, Portis, and George Hill.

Jevon Carter was taken out of the rotation because he was too small to deal with Brown and Tatum on switches and Budenholzer trusts Hill more in that regard. It looks like the right move as Hill has done a solid enough job in his two games so far.

It’s time to make the same move with Allen. If the Bucks move on, he’ll be a better option against the Philadelphia 76ers or Miami Heat’s personnel but they need to actually, you know, win this series and move on first to get to that point.

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We’ll see if the Milwaukee Bucks make this switch for Game 5 in Boston at 6:00 pm CT.