Should the Milwaukee Bucks play big or small during key absences?

Dec 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 1, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, Grayson Allen; Atlanta Hawks: John Collins
(Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP) (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks lineups with Middleton and Connaughton out: What about a lineup composed of big men?

The starting lineup for the Milwaukee Bucks in their first game in Abu Dhabi during the preseason featured Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo at small forward, Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez. That makes for a starting lineup with an average height over 6’8″!

Looking at a big man lineup containing even Portis and Lopez is a small sample, just 12 games and 8.3 minutes per game that did still result in a positive plus minus. However, looking at lineups with Bobby Portis and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the floor is not only a bigger sample, but a more enticing one.

Giannis and Bobby played 62 games together last season, in those games they spent 17.9 minutes together per game on the floor. It was also the fourth most efficient pairing in +/- of duos that contained Giannis Antetokounmpo at +4.6, just 0.1 behind the pairing of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

The potential big men trios to make with a start of Giannis and Bobby include one, Serge Ibaka, who played in just four games with the other two, not registering any noteworthy stats. Two being Brook Lopez, with whom the other two only played three games on the floor together but did make 50 percent of their 3-point shots on the floor together. Third and finally being Sandro Mamukelashvili, an even less seen trio, just one game with the three of them playing together.

So while there is some intrigue in a lineup containing two guards and a forest of trees opponents would have trouble navigating through, it will certainly be an experimental lineup if it happens.

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Thankfully we don’t have to wait long to see what the lineups will look like.