4 Tweaks to improve the Milwaukee Bucks before 2024 NBA Playoffs

Portland Trail Blazers v Milwaukee Bucks
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No. 2 - Expanding their offensive playbook

While the Milwaukee Bucks have a strong offensive system based around the attention that Lillard and Antetokounmpo generate, incorporating new sets and plays can keep opponents guessing and prevent defensive adjustments from stifling their scoring. This could involve introducing more off-ball movement, screening actions, and incorporating different players into playmaking roles.

Incorporating more spacing around Giannis to open driving lanes and create kick-out opportunities for shooters. This might involve a faster pace to exploit Giannis' athleticism in transition. They could also look to run pin-down screens for Lillard or Middleton with Giannis setting the initial screen and then slipping to the rim. This disrupts the defense and creates open looks for either guard.

Right now, their offense is what it is. And for good reason — capitalizing on their near-unstoppable pick-and-roll mastery is simply a no-brainer. Giannis' physical dominance makes him a nightmare for defenses to contain when rolling to the rim. Lillard's elite passing ability can create open lanes and easy dunks for the Greek Freak.

With Giannis' gravity attracting defenders, Lillard as the ball-handler in these situations will also have space to create for himself or teammates. He can use screens from Antetokounmpo or Middleton to get downhill and either score or kick out to open shooters.

Even their offensively-talented bigs in Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis could be given more active and more dynamic rolls within the offense as opposed to simply standing behind the 3-point line to space the floor. For instance, the Bucks rarely ever utilize Lopez's size and footwork for low-post scoring opportunities, even when there are clear opportunities to isolate him against smaller defenders and run plays to get him the ball in good position.

Lillard and Giannis can also initiate dribble handoffs with Lopez, forcing the defense to switch and potentially creating mismatches for Lopez to exploit in the post. In past seasons, the Bucks have seen great success when they involve Lopez in short roll situations — just look at the games Antetokounmpo was out with injury versus the Atlanta Hawks during the 2021 title run.

When Giannis or Lillard penetrates, Lopez can roll to the basket for easy dunks or layups off dump-off passes. He can also set pin down screens for Giannis or Lillard, then pop out to the mid-range for open jump shots if the defense switches. Don't underestimate Lopez's passing ability, either. Double teams on Giannis or Lillard will be inevitable. Lopez can find open shooters on the perimeter with quick kick-out passes, creating additional scoring threats and maximizing offensive possessions.

The point is that the possibilities are endless with a roster like theirs. Utilize Giannis' post-up skills on the block while Lillard spaces out at the three-point line. This creates a double-team dilemma. If they collapse on Giannis, Lillard gets an open three. If they stay on Lillard, Giannis can go to work in the post. Middleton thrives on catch-and-shoot opportunities. Lillard and Giannis' ability to draw defenders will create ample space for him to knock down threes from the corners or the wing.