Milwaukee Bucks’ early chemistry issues will take time to resolve

Oct 20, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 20, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks have some issues and concerns after the first three games of the season, specifically from a chemistry standpoint. While this is to be expected, there is no need for the fans to panic and overreact.

When you have two Milwaukee Bucks superstars playing together for the first time, it is only natural that there will be some chemistry issues and other concerns. In addition, playing for a rookie head coach and learning a new system are contributing factors to a potential slow start.

Milwaukee Bucks superstars Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo have played three regular season games together as teammates. It is to be expected that there will be some bumps in the road along the way.

This is what the regular season is for – to iron out any such deficiencies. Realistically, the first 10 or so regular season games for the Milwaukee Bucks will be a learning experience and somewhat of a transition period.

Bucks’ chemistry issues

To be perfectly honest, the Lillard and Antetokounmpo pairing after three games has not been such a smooth transition. There is a lot of clunkiness that will need to be and should be corrected as the regular season progresses.

In a blowout home loss to the Atlanta Hawks, it appeared as though Giannis only set four screens for Lillard the entire time they were on the floor together. This number must increase on a game-by-game basis if the two of them are to continue to grow and build chemistry together.

The Lillard pick and roll must be a staple of this offense. In addition to chemistry, Giannis clearly demands the ball after setting a screen for Lillard.

The focal point of the pick and roll is to hit the man to free up Lillard to either shoot if the big drops or force the big to step up, giving Giannis an easy roll to the basket. Instead of this happening after three games, Giannis is slipping almost every time without letting the screen even connect, which has resulted in Lillard getting trapped.

It is no secret that Lillard has pretty much perfected making the right play out of the pick and role. It appears as though Giannis hasn’t quite figured out yet that if you set a good screen, it forces his man to have to leave him to cover Lillard, which results in him being more likely to get the ball back.

Both Lillard and Giannis need to make it work, and they will. There appears to be a glaring lack of chemistry between all the starters right now, which is expected when you’re playing for a rookie head coach in Adrian Griffin for the first time.

Head coach Adrian Griffin needs to run more set plays and have Lillard bring the ball up the court, as opposed to Giannis. We are seeing too much of this already after only two games.

This will hopefully change moving forward. Lillard, Giannis, and Brook Lopez should be running the pick and roll constantly. This can only help improve, develop, and grow chemistry on the floor, as well as an understanding of each other’s games and help to set up others for success.

Players not having the scheme down yet seems to be the general consensus after three games. Defensively, there appears to be a lot of confusion as well after three games.

On one possession they are playing man-to-man, then trapping, and then switching to zone. Coach Griffin will hopefully have a proper game plan moving forward and stick with something, as opposed to constantly shuffling.

All of these concerns should and will hopefully resolve of their own volition as the Milwaukee Bucks get deeper into the regular season. It is definitely not time to hit the panic button.

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