3 positives from first two Milwaukee Bucks preseason games

(Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP) (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP) (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen, Jrue Holiday; Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young
(Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP) (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks preseason positives after two games: Milwaukee Bucks look poised to get back to their defensive identity

Although it came in a losing effort, there were spurts where the team showed how effective they can be defensively. The team already established their defensive identity, which was on full display during their championship run in 2021, but the eye test shows that there is another level that the team can reach. Watching Thursday’s game against the Hawks gave Bucks fans a chance to see the multiple different lineups that Coach Budenholzer will be able to play.

Thursday’s starting lineup of Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez gave everyone a look at how effective playing a big lineup would benefit us as the season goes on. Having three big men in the starting lineup would allow the Bucks to dominate the paint with that kind of size, while still being able to come out on the perimeter and play defense with an excellent defender like Jrue Holiday and a gritty player like Grayson Allen. The one problem a lineup with Portis and Lopez is that teams may look to get these two switched on to a perimeter player and exploit the big men on the outside.

Off the bench, players like Serge Ibaka, Pat Connaughton and Jevon Carter add to the defensive production that the starters will give, but what the fans should be most excited about is the amount of wing defenders that the Bucks will be able to matchup with superstars.

In the 2022 Semifinals matchup with the Boston Celtics, the team noticeably lacked lengthy wing defenders to guard players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. I believe that this year Giannis will be able to play more perimeter defense on superstars, due to Serge Ibaka having more time to mesh with the team and give minutes on opposing bigs and Brook Lopez being completely healthy.

The team still awaits the return of Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles, in addition to drafting rookie MarJon Beauchamp, who has an impressive 7’0 wingspan to go along with his 6’6-200 pound frame. Imagining the number of different coverages our defense will be able to effectively play whether we are switching, playing drop coverage or some other defense should have Bucks fans eager to watch.