5 Best Situational Lineups for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012-13

No NameAnalyst ISeptember 9, 2012

5 Best Situational Lineups for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012-13

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    It was a disappointing season for the Milwaukee Bucks last year.

    They finished with a 31-35 record, missing out on the playoffs once again. Looking at their roster on paper, you have to wonder how it could have gone so bad. Unfortunately for them, injuries played a part (as they always do), and two of their Central Division foes were much better last season.

    But this is a new season, and another year of playing together will surely help them turn things around.

    The biggest challenge the Bucks face is improving their defense. They were fifth in the league in scoring a year ago, but just 22nd in points allowed. Their team assists per game ranked third in the league, which is a combination of great play in the backcourt, and familiarity among all of the players.

    With young talent like Monta Ellis, Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings, the Bucks have some players who give coach Scott Skiles flexibility in certain situations.

    Here are five situational lineups that Milwaukee can use this upcoming season.

Going Big

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    PG: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

    SG: Ersan Ilyasova

    SF: John Henson

    PF: Samuel Dalembert

    C: Joel Przybilla



    The Bucks are trailing by one with ten seconds left in the game.

    The Bulls have the ball at half court with just one second left on the shot clock. You have a timeout remaining, but you have to get the rebound. With just one second remaining, there is no time for the Bulls to draw up a play.

    Chicago is likely to just toss up a wild shot and hope they can get the offensive rebound. Having the tallest (and most-talented) guys on the floor gives the Bucks the best chance to secure the miss.

    No matter who is in bounding the ball for the Bulls, having Henson guard the ball will make it nearly impossible to get it in for a good look.

Playing Small Ball

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    PG: Brandon Jennings

    SG: Beno Udrih

    SF: Monta Ellis

    PF: Doron Lamb

    C: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute



    This lineup could be used a couple of different ways—if the opposing team is using a full-court press against the Bucks or the other way around.

    Making sure the quickest guys are on the floor is key, but you don't want to create mismatches on your end at the same time. Putting Udrih on the floor with Jennings and Ellis offers plenty of speed.

    The other way this lineup could be used is if you are looking for the final shot in the quarter, you can create mismatches on offense. It's likely that Lamb and Mbah a Moute will be able to create their own shot if they are matched up on a bigger defender on the wing.

Lets Go for Three

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    PG: Brandon Jennings

    SG: Monta Ellis

    SF: Mike Dunleavy

    PF: Ersan Ilyasova

    C: Drew Gooden



    This one is relatively simple.

    The Bucks need three points, and there isn't enough time to do it the conventional way. They get one shot, and that's it.

    The two obvious guys here are Jennings and Ellis. Monta has proven over the years he can hit the big shot. Dunleavy is a sound shooter, but they will have to draw up a play to get him open, possibly a double screen.

    Ilyasova is the one to watch here. He is the best three-point shooter (by percentage) on the roster. He shot 46 percent from downtown last season. If Ilyasova is covered by the opposing team's regular power forward, he's quick enough to easily create his own shot.

    Gooden has proven over the years that he can make this shot. He's not the best option, but he's worth putting on the floor.

Clutch Free-Throw Shooting

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    PG: Brandon Jennings

    SG: Monta Ellis

    SF: Tobias Harris

    PF: Mike Dunleavy

    C: Drew Gooden



    Another situation here that doesn't require much explanation.

    The game is tight, there is under a minute to play, the Bucks are leading and are going to get fouled. You want your best free-throw shooters in the game, and able to get away from their defenders to get the ball.

    This lineup takes care of that pretty easily, as all five of these players shot at least 80 percent from the line last year.

    Gooden is actually the best of the bunch statistically, having led the team at 85 percent a year ago. Harris, Dunleavy, and Jennings all shot 81 percent from the stripe, while Ellis was right behind them at 80 percent.

    Having to foul this team in an effort to win a free-throw contest at the end of the game is not a situation you want to get in with these deer.

Lock Down on D

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    PG: Brandon Jennings

    SG: Monta Ellis

    SF: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

    PF: John Henson

    C: Samuel Dalembert



    The Bucks are leading by one with just ten seconds left in the game.

    They have to play defense to preserve the win. How they match up at each position is key. It will vary depending on the offensive lineup used by the other team, but this is the Bucks best defensive lineup against your average NBA team.

    Jennings led Milwaukee in steals last year, averaging 1.6 per game; Ellis was right behind him at 1.5 per game. The length of Mbah a Moute will give anyone problems at the small forward position. His steals and blocks per game are respectable, as well.

    We know Henson and Dalembert are excellent shot-blockers, and they will have to challenge at the rim if the opposing offense penetrates through Milwaukee's first line of defense.