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) /
3 of 5
Phoenix Suns, Frank Kaminsky
Phoenix Suns, Frank Kaminsky (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Defensive Key #2: Keep Milwaukee out of the paint

In their resounding Game 5 win over Atlanta, Milwaukee scored 66 points in the paint. Everything for Milwaukee was at the rim. They constantly put pressure on Atlanta’s overwhelmed defense by attacking the basket in transition. But even when the game slowed down as well, Lopez dominated Atlanta’s front line, scoring 26 of his 33 points in the paint.

To stop Milwaukee from relentlessly attacking the basket once again in the half court, Phoenix must avoid switching on sideline pick-and-rolls at all costs. Milwaukee likes to hunt mismatches, and then isolate on the weakest defender. For instance, they mercilessly attacked Atlanta’s Trae Young all throughout the closing moments of Game 6. Likewise, Milwaukee will target Cam Payne or Ayton when they are in the game.

When Payne or Ayton get targeted on screens such as these, Mikal Bridges—or whoever is guarding the ball must not concede the switch. Payne does not have the size to guard Holiday or Middleton straight up.

Lopez too will feast on any Suns player not named Ayton who tries to box him out. Boxing out Lopez is going to be a tough challenge for Ayton, but it’s nearly impossible for anyone else due to his massive frame.