2 Bucks, 2 Pacers role players who could swing upcoming playoff series

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks: Semifinals - 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks: Semifinals - 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Patrick Beverley

Since becoming a starter over the last four games, Patrick Beverley has played impressive basketball, serving as a two-way force. Now, in the postseason, the Milwaukee Bucks will need his hustle, outside shooting and, perhaps most importantly, his defense. The Bucks did not have Beverley for any of their five matchups against Indiana this season, so he could add a new element to things.

One of the reasons Milwaukee was so unsuccessful against Indiana this season has been star guard Tyrese Haliburton playing excellent basketball. In the five games, Haliburton has averaged 27 points, 11 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per matchup while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor. The Bucks will need to find a way to prevent him from dominating like this again.

Beverley will likely draw the Haliburton assignment as soon as the series tips off, and if he can hound, irritate and limit him, it could tip the scales in Milwaukee's favor. Matchups like this are why the Bucks traded for Beverley at the deadline, and his defense against Haliburton may just be one of the biggest X-factors in this entire series.

T.J. McConnell

Over the years, T.J. McConnell has established himself as a "Bucks killer" for how he plays whenever these two teams meet. When Milwaukee is on the schedule, McConnell sees blood in the water and typically elevates his game to another level. He's undeniably a player who could heat up and swing a series one way.

In the five matchups this season, McConnell has averaged 10 points, 5.3 assists, four rebounds and 1.5 steals per game on 48.4 percent field goal shooting. Whether he's scoring, passing or playing his pesky defense, the guard does a bit of everything when he plays, which has hurt the Bucks time and time again like clockwork.

With Beverley glued to Haliburton, it will be very interesting to see who the Bucks throw at McConnell. Malik Beasley and Pat Connaughton will likely see their share of time, but Milwaukee should consider throwing rookie Andre Jackson Jr. at the guard for minutes here and there. He possesses both the length and athleticism to give him trouble. No matter what, the Bucks have to slow McConnell down.