The Dallas Mavericks embraced the problem of dealing with the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks on their residence flooring in Sunday’s spectacular 118-112 win. Luka Doncic led the way in which with 32 factors, eight rebounds and 15 assists.
Doncic led a pivotal 11-2 run halfway via the fourth quarter to create wanted separation from the Bucks. It consisted largely of Doncic drawing Giannis Antetokounmpo on switches to forestall him from being disruptive as an off-ball defender.
One of many causes the Bucks are so powerful their defensive versatility. They’ll swap coverages all through a sport and have the required expertise to be disruptive. Doncic, nevertheless, was not slowed down.
Maybe the very best show of the chess match going within the Bucks’ favor was a virtually four-minute stretch within the third when the Mavericks have been held scoreless. Dallas turned it over 4 instances and missed 4 area purpose makes an attempt through the drought.
In the long run, Doncic and the Mavs figured it out, particularly when containing Antetokounmpo.
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“I feel they threw a number of totally different seems at him,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer stated. “Threw a number of further assist. Some doubles. Stuff that we’ve seen earlier than.
“However give them a number of credit score. Their dedication to it, their protection. All 12 months they’ve been a great defensive group. All of us have gotten to play somewhat higher. Giannis, the individuals round him. Myself, coach higher. However credit score to Dallas, they have been good.”
Jrue Vacation, extensively thought-about as being one of many NBA’s elite defenders, shared some perception into what goes into guarding Doncic. Packing the paint was the precedence for the Bucks, adopted by trying to recuperate to the weak aspect when a go was made.
“Luka can rating in any respect three ranges,” Vacation stated. “Whether or not it is one-on-one or screen-and-roll, so the very first thing is attempt to cease the ball and maintain him in entrance of you. The subsequent factor is the man that he’s taking part in with, which is the screener. You bought to attempt to be in there and present our bodies. Make it crowded in order that it would not make it appear to be he is open. You then acquired the weak aspect.
“He is a great participant. He sees every part. He makes good performs out of it.”
Maybe what has made the Mavericks all of the more difficult to comprise is embracing that their id begins and stops with Doncic. The Mavs, as presently constructed, do not want a co-star.