So... this series certainly isn’t going how we all expected it to, especially with James Harden going down with hamstring tightness just one minute into Game 1.
And yet, the Nets are up 2-0 in the second-round series now headed to Milwaukee, maintaining homecourt advantage with returns from Jeff Green and James Harden hopefully on the horizon. Individual greatness from Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant has buoyed the shorthanded Nets against the conference rival — don’t get me wrong — but the story of the first two games has been Brooklyn’s impact up and down the bench.
A lot of that can be attributed to the fine-tuned adjustments and counters the coaching staff has devised to fluster Milwaukee’s individual players and go-to schemes.
In this video, I took a look at how Brooklyn’s coaching staff thwarted the Bucks with strategic excellence in Game 2’s 39-point blowout.
0:46 Counters for Kevin Durant defenders - Brooklyn had an adjustment for every player that dared to guard Kevin Durant — isolations against Giannis Antetokounmpo, post-ups against Jrue Holiday, and ball screens to slow down P.J. Tucker.
2:10 Targeting Brook Lopez in drop coverage - This section is fairly self-explanatory, but Brooklyn ran multiple actions to attack Brook Lopez hidden in the paint.
3:20 Bryn Forbes hedge and recover counters - The Bucks attempted to hide Bryn Forbes, one of their weaker defenders, with a hedge and recover pick-and-roll coverage. So Brooklyn broke out a couple of counters to make Forbes pay, utilizing Landry Shamet’s relocation three-point expertise in particular.
5:24 Beating the zone defense - Down big in the second quarter, the Bucks began throwing things at the wall to see what would stick, one of those adjustments being a matchup zone. Brooklyn countered quickly with its resident zone-breaker, Bruce Brown.
6:01 Defensive adjustments - The Nets broke out a very surprising defensive scheme in Game 2 and to avoid spoiling it, I’ll just leave this section as is!
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