Bucks Should Turn to Snell for Game 6 Boost


Tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks face postseason elimination.

After a 2-0 start to the series, the Bucks lost three straight games for the first time this season. They now face the tough task of taking back their stolen Game 5, just to force a Game 7.

Pace of Play Has Deteriorated

This deterioration can be attributed to several things, but mainly that the Bucks have become timid in transition, and are quite slow and inefficient in their halfcourt offense. Giannis’ paint is clogged, and shots aren’t falling.

Khris Middleton‘s playoff shooting has been admirable as it usually is, but the Bucks need more than that if they want to contend with the Raptors let alone the Warriors. Probably the biggest surprise out of this group is mid-season acquisition Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic has struggled to amount to any sort of positive production in this series. His shot is off, and his defense has been nonexistent.

Adjustments are due to be made for tonight’s game, and this one seems obvious at this point. Mirotic simply hasn’t produced enough to earn the minutes — and starts — he has received this series. Malcolm Brogdon replaced him in the starting lineup for Game 5 and played quite well. Now, the Bucks would be wise to replace his reserve minutes as their next change. Niko is otherwise an outstanding sharpshooter, but he just hasn’t been that this series.

Enter Tony Snell

Tony Snell virtually hasn’t seen the floor at all in the postseason. He’s logged under 30 total minutes in the nine combined “appearances” (garbage time) he’s made against Detroit, Boston and Toronto. Milwaukee’s “X-Factors” in their two victories have been Brook Lopez in Game 1 and Ersan Ilyasova in Game 2, but both floor stretchers have reverted back to average production.

For the season, Snell is hitting a tick under 40% from deep, second on the team behind only Malcolm Brogdon.

Bent Bench

Outside of George Hill, Milwaukee’s bench has not shown the support it has all season. Pat Connaughton‘s closeout defense has been superb, but the Bucks remain without a consistent bench boost that often changes the course of a game, and in this situation, a series.

2018 6th Man of the Year Finalist Fred VanVleet had a mere 10 points over the first three games of the series, but proceeded to score 13 and 21 (10/12 on 3s total) respectively over the last two games. He’s been their X-Factor, something the Bucks will need if they hope to return to Milwaukee for Game 7.

VanVleet’s triples have all been spot up shots– something the Bucks have struggled to hit all series long.

Snell can be the answer to Milwaukee’s shot conversion problems– he just needs a shot to get in the game. As you saw above, the Bucks have consistently shot near 30% from downtown over the past several games. Something needs to change.

Additional Consideration

As most of us know, Tony Snell and Kawhi Leonard go way back.

Granted, the #KawhiToMKE hype didn’t pan out as many Bucks fans had hoped, but the connection remains. Snell is a quality defender, someone who could assist not only with Milwaukee’s three-point shooting woes, but on the defensive end as well, containing one of the league’s best scorers. Among the pine riders of Tim Frazier, DJ Wilson and Sterling Brown, Snell controls the highest balance between offense and defense, a necessity for postseason success.

No matter what happens tonight, Coach Bud will more than likely make some adjustments, hoping to end the curse of their lone three-game losing streak.


About Eric Peterson

CEO and Content Manager of TLSM. Twitter: @EricTLSM

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