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FILM STUDY: Where James Harden could make the difference against Milwaukee

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Currently on a four-game losing streak — the longest of the season — with the opportunity to end that skid against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, the Brooklyn Nets’ troubles began in Milwaukee over the weekend. The Bucks thoroughly outplayed, outmuscled, and out-schemed the Nets during their mini-series, beating Brooklyn 117-114 on Sunday and 124-118 on Tuesday.

Milwaukee presents Brooklyn with an intriguing match-up; on balance, the Bucks have the requisite star power (Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jrue Holiday) to at least make it a conversation with Brooklyn. Loaded up with shooting to keep pace with the Nets’ torrid offense, Milwaukee can win games in multiple ways, as made evident by the two victories against Brooklyn.

However, what makes this Bucks team truly special is its defensive backbone. In this video, I took a look at what guides Milwaukee defensively against Brooklyn — strong individual defenders to throw at Brooklyn’s stars and a sound game plan for its team defense.

I also took a look at where James Harden specifically would’ve made a difference against Milwaukee, highlighting key moments in the two-game series in which his passing, pick-and-roll control, and rebounding could’ve altered and improved the Nets’ results.


0:25 An ode (of sorts) to what makes this Bucks’ defense special, highlight Milwaukee’s general philosophies when guarding this loaded Nets team.

5:05 In-depth analysis of specific plays in which James Harden could’ve accentuated Brooklyn’s process. Some of those plays include involving Brooklyn’s pick-and-roll bigs with more regularity, usage of on-ball screens, mismatch hunting, boxing out, and more!

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