Pacers keys to victory against the Milwaukee Bucks

The sixth-seeded Pacers will have a handful with the Bucks, but this season shows that the Pacers could have the advantage.
Apr 14, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9)  in the second
Apr 14, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) in the second / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the season the Pacers played the Bucks five times, and won the season series 4-1, with the only win for the Bucks being the 64-point explosion by Giannis Antetokounmpo which led to some heated post-game moments about the game ball. The other four games were all single-digit and high-scoring victories, besides the 12-point victory in the last matchup.

Tyrese Haliburton has been the main key against the Bucks this season by averaging 27 points and 11 assists against them and being able to outplay Damian Lillard throughout the season series was a big plus, and to be able to win the series in the playoffs it will have to be some of the same. Pascal Siakam has yet to play a game against the Bucks in a Pacers uniform, so this will be a true testament to him as a player, and how he is able to be utilized against a team like this.

Even without Bennedict Mathurin, the Pacers will win this bench matchup as outside of Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, and Patrick Beverley, the Bucks are not an incredibly deep team and the Pacers must take advantage of that.

Antetokounmpo is also rumored to not be able to come back until late in the series or potentially cannot come back at all, as long as Lillard and Khris Middleton are locked down with Aaron Nesmith and potentially an Andrew Nembhard matchup, the Pacers should be able to lock down Brook Lopez in the paint with the frontcourt.

The other big key is to get hot early and force Doc Rivers to burn through timeouts and have to make constant switches throughout the game. The earlier you take Rivers and the Bucks out of the game, the smoother the game will run for the Pacers. It helps that the Bucks are coming off of a horrible postseason as they lost to the eight-seeded Miami Heat last year which led to the controversial firing of Championship head coach Mike Budenholzer.

A few smaller but important keys are spreading the ball around more on the perimeter and find the right value shots between our best three-point shooters. Let Haliburton and Siakam or Turner cook in the pick-and-roll game for easy layups, as well as utilize T.J. McConnell and Obi Toppin off the bench and hope for double-digit point averages as they have had in their last few games. Controlling the rebounding game will also be incredibly important as the Pacers won the rebounding battle in four of the five games in the season.

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The series will start on Sunday, April 21, in Fiserv Forum where the Pacers will look to start off hot and get a win to gain momentum in this series.