NBA 2018-19: Breaking down the Milwaukee Bucks' offense
Before the season earlier this year, everyone expected the Boston Celtics or the Toronto Raptors to be on top of the Eastern Conference Charts. Some even predicted that the Philadelphia 76ers would dominate the East this season. However, it's the underrated team from Milwaukee that is sitting right at the top.
A lot of it has to do with the type of offense The Bucks are playing right now. They lead the League in Points scored per game as they average 116 points a night making them the best offensive team in the NBA at the moment.
Head Coach Mike Budenholzer deserves a lot of credit for running the offense by spacing out the floor. All the five guys stand really wide on the floor making "help defense" virtually impossible because defenders are so away from each other. And even the defenders do manage to switch, an extra pass always creates an easy opportunity for 2 or 3 quick points. And the offense is more than just their MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Point guard Eric Bledsoe is benefitting from this style of play too. He is averaging 15 points per game compared to his career average of 12 points per game. Once the Bucks space out the floor, the player at the power forward or center position comes up to set a screen for Bledsoe who uses this athletic ability to drive in or play iso ball with the mismatch.
The focus on spreading the floor is so much so that Bucks acquired a stretch 5 in Brook Lopez who can shoot 3 Pointers when the occasion demands. He did the same with the Los Angeles Lakers last season but the Bucks have really adopted his style of play into their system. His shooting ability forces his man to guard him away from the basket which means a quick pass or backdoor can result in open layups for their players.
And finally, let's talk about the frontrunner in the MVP race - Giannis Antetokounmpo. While he's not the only offensive threat in the team, he's the heart and soul of the offense. You will often see Giannis bring the ball up and his teammate will set a screen almost near the logo to give Giannis all the space in the world to drive towards to ring like a wrecking train.
His athleticism is off the charts and once he gets that much space, he's simply unstoppable. Shaquille O'Neal, the most brutal force in NBA history recently said that he would like to give his "Superman" title to Giannis because he's simply unguardable in the paint.
The only way to stop him is double or triple team him but as mentioned before, because of the wide spacing, there are always guys who are ready to catch and shoot and Giannis is more than willing to kick the ball out to find his open teammates. Everyone is pointing out his inability to shoot the 3 Ball but in reality, he doesn't really need to do it.
Mark my words, Giannis a three-point shot away from being the best player in the League.