The Milwaukee Bucks survived against the Nets in Game 7 on the road this past Saturday. However, the job is not finished. They have eight more games to win their first championship since 1971. There have been many discussions about whether Mike Budenholzer is the man to lead the Bucks to the Finals. This will be his best shot since he has been the head coach of the Bucks. Nevertheless, the Bucks should at least make it to the Finals.
They will have a homecourt advantage versus the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks have had a fantastic season considering that they were 14-20 earlier in the season. They have been doing this with an interim coach. They are a good team that will go down as one of the best five seeds in NBA history.
The 76ers, who the Hawks just eliminated in the playoffs, had double-digit leads in games 4 and 5. If they win one of those games, they win the series. The Bucks have two main issues that they must address if they want to beat the Hawks and ultimately win a championship.
The Bucks must be better in executing their offense and getting higher percentage shots. They were the best team in the NBA in the regular season in points per game, averaging 120.1 points. However, in the postseason, they rank 11th overall out of the 16 teams.
Some of the issues they have on offense are not going to be fixed this postseason. Their best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is an outstanding player, but he is limited on offense, and that is not going to change, so they have to do what they can to get around those issues.
One of the things they can do is to use Giannis in more pick and rolls. He has been very effective when he is used this way. The next thing they can do is limited the amount of three-point attempts Giannis has in games. He is shooting 19.1 percent from the three-point line. They also need to run more offensive sets and have more ball movement on offense. If they do those things, they will have a great chance to maximize their offense potential.
The second and most crucial issue is the three-point percentage they have given up this season. Milwaukee was 29th in the regular season in that category. The main reason is they overhelp, and it leads to wide-open three-point attempts.
The more significant issue is they have been doing this every year in the Budenholzer era, and this year it finally caught up to them. As a result, they are the worst team in the postseason in three-point percentage, and they must change that philosophy or risk losing in this round versus the Hawks, who are the second-best team this postseason in three-point percentage.
All of these adjustments fall on the coach. However, Mike Budenholzer must make them if he wants to lead the Bucks to a championship and keep his job.
Many coaches around the league would want this job if it came available.
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