3 adjustments needed for the Bucks in Game 5 to stave off elimination

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 24 (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 24 (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Bucks were up 101-89 with 6:09 left in Game 4. With Milwaukee being in control most of the game, this game was well in hand, but then Jimmy Butler happened.

Butler scored 21 points in the fourth quarter as he helped Miami outscore Milwaukee 30-13 after the 6:09 mark. Butler ended the game with a career-high 56 points on 19-of-28 shooting, in which he got it going early and never slowed down.

Milwaukee now finds itself in unfamiliar territory being down 3-1 in a playoff series and on the brink of elimination. The last time the Bucks were down 3-1 in a playoff series was the 2020 Orlando bubble series against the Miami Heat.

The last time Milwaukee was eliminated in the first round as a one-seed was never. Milwaukee has only been a one-seed six times in franchise history; this is unfamiliar territory if Miami takes care of business the next couple of games.

So with Milwaukee on the brink of elimination, what three adjustments do they need to make in Game 5 to save their season?

1- Don’t let Jimmy Butler beat you

The defensive strategy of Jimmy Butler in this series has been unacceptable.

Why Head Coach Mike Budenholzer doesn’t decide to trap or double-team him baffles me. Instead, Milwaukee continues to run the same defensive matchups on Butler where it’s Jrue Holiday or Khris Middleton guarding him. Don’t get me wrong, both are capable defenders, but why not switch Giannis Antetokounmpo onto him for a few possessions to throw a different look at him?

I would say Jae Crowder, but he hasn’t had a good series and has looked a step slow in his matchups with Butler.

In this series, Butler is averaging 36.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and five assists; he’s also shooting 62 percent from the field and 52 percent from three.

Milwaukee defensively hasn’t presented Butler with a challenge nor have they taken away his ability to get in the paint and draw fouls.

What made Game 3 frustrating is that it was all Jimmy Butler the next highest scorer was Bam Adebayo with 15 points. For a team like Milwaukee with as much defensive talent as they have, and being the number one defensive-rated team in the regular season, letting one guy beat you is inexcusable and can’t happen in an important playoff game like this one.

In Game 5, I expect Milwaukee to pay more attention to Butler and make it tough on him because if they don’t, their season will end on Wednesday.