Phoenix Suns: 4 Keys to Slowing down Milwaukee Bucks Offense

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Defensive Key #1: Deandre Ayton’s must slow down Brook Lopez

Transition defense will be essential for the Suns, as Milwaukee ranks second in pace of play right now. Giannis typically grabs the defensive rebound then brings the ball up the court looking to attack the basket almost immediately. But with Giannis out, Middleton and Holiday have taken over as the primary ball-handlers in transition.

Deandre Ayton sprinting back on defense is key to stopping Milwaukee’s transition attack. Ayton’s role will be crucial because he not only needs to get offensive rebounds, but also needs to sprint back the whole length of the court while playing transition defense.

Brook Lopez has darted to the rim far more often this season than in years past. Lopez is a beast now that he has stopped shooting so many threes. He is playing like he did when he was an All-Star with the Brooklyn Nets.

Ayton will need to hurry back in transition to take away these lobs to Lopez. Ayton must also defend well against Milwaukee’s sideline pick-and-rolls with Lopez screening for Middleton or Holiday. He has to prevent those two from turning the corner while also keeping an eye on Lopez’s roll to the basket.

Easier said than done.

Ultimately, the Ayton-Lopez battle on the boards will be key to Phoenix’s transition defense. If Ayton can get enough offensive rebounds, that will slow down Milwaukee’s fast-paced offense enough to keep them out of rhythm to begin with.