Beating the Drop

Boston had success against the Bucks' dropped back pick-and-roll defense early in the series. Milwaukee adjusted effectively, but we can still learn from the subtle tactics Boston used to play Milwaukee out of their base defense.

Coming into the Bucks/Celtics series, I was fascinated by one particular element of the matchup: how would Boston fare against Milwaukee’s pick-and-roll defense? I’ve detailed the Bucks’ conservative defensive style extensively on this site: Milwaukee’s goal is to wall off the rim and keep opponents on the perimeter. One of their primary tactics to accomplish this is dropping their bigs way back from the screen against pick-and-rolls, making sure both the ball and roller stay in front of them. If the big man pops, they will usually not rotate or switch, just try to get back out and contest and live with the result.

Boston figured to present a real challenge to that strategy.

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