We can be honest, Game 3 of Bucks-Nets sure wasn’t a classic.
With a score that looked as if it was ripped from the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, the third game of the semifinals was, as Jeff Van Gundy so eloquently put it, “a rock fight.”
But there were some takeaways to be had.
In this video, I shared my three biggest takeaways from Game 3 as well as some general game notes on quick-hit topics.
0:43 Adjusted coverage on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant - Milwaukee abandoned its aggressive help defense principles from Games 1 and 2 (at least in some possessions) and keyed in on gluing one of its top-tier isolation defenders, P.J. Tucker and Jrue Holiday namely, on the 7/11 duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
5:00 Brook Lopez and the Bucks drop coverage - One of the few interesting storylines from Game 3 was Brook Lopez’s utilization in drop coverage. Specifically, how the Bucks slowly moved him up the floor and closer to pick-and-roll screens as the game progressed.
6:58 Bruce Brown’s defensive impact - It’s a shame Bruce Brown’s game ended the way it did because up to the point of the final shot of the game, the 24-year-old was having one of his most complete games as a Brooklyn Net. His defensive impact, in particular, was outstanding. He navigated screens like a pro, dug down on Giannis Antetokounmpo post-ups, and guarded practically every Buck on the floor.
8:56 Other notes - “Double drag” and empty side actions are sets the Nets should explore more often for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant with Bruce Brown screening. And speaking of Bruce, he and Nicolas Claxton haven’t graded out particularly well as a 2-man group.