3 Biggest X-factors for Milwaukee Bucks in series against Indiana Pacers

Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Patrick Beverley's defense

The Milwaukee Bucks traded for Patrick Beverley because they needed a defensive ace who was not afraid to take on tough matchups, just like one they will face in this series. Pacers budding superstar Tyrese Haliburton has played excellent basketball against Milwaukee this season, and the Bucks will have to slow him down to come out on top in this one. Beverley will likely get the call.

The Bucks did not have Beverley for any of their five matchups against Indiana this season. Instead, it was Malik Beasley guarding Haliburton more than any other player in the league this season. Across 117.2 partial possessions, the guard tallied 38 points and 13 assists on 16-of-29 (55.2 percent) field goal shooting, per NBA.com. Haliburton certainly got the better of that matchup.

Beverley is more defensive-minded than Beasley, so perhaps he could have better success at limiting the All-Star guard. If Beverley can provide his on-brand, intense defense and get Haliburton out of the game as much as possible, it would be a massive boost for Milwaukee. It will not be easy, but Beverley will be up for the challenge.

Doc Rivers' decision to move Beverley into the starting lineup could prove to be a stroke of genius if Beverley delivers defensively in this one.