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Milwaukee Bucks first play vs Chicago Bulls

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer scripts the first play of every game. Here’s how he drew it up against the Chicago Bulls.

The Milwaukee Bucks love to generate some easy points at the beginning of every game. In order to do so, head coach Mike Budenholzer scripts the first set. 

Against the Chicago Bulls, Budenholzer began the set with the Bucks traditional five-out offense where each player fills one of the five spots along the perimeter (two corners, two wings and the top of the key).

On the bottom of the screen, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton perform a dribble handoff. While they’re doing that, Malcolm Brogdon curls off a Giannis Antetokounmpo screen.

Following the curl, Brogdon and Middleton run past one another in the paint, with Brogdon cutting to the opposite corner. It’s unclear if one was supposed to set a screen for the other, but no action happened there.

As Brogdon was cutting to the corner, Bledsoe faked as if he was looking to pass him the ball. Meanwhile, Middleton was coming off a double-stagger screen by Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.

By this time, Bledsoe was dribbling back toward that side of the floor and was too close to Middleton. When the pass was made, Bledsoe’s defender was able to slide over and help prevent an open catch-and-shoot opportunity by Middleton. As a result, the wing had to pump-fake and take one dribble to his right for a pull-up three as his guy flew by.

Even though the shot didn’t go in, it was still a fairly well drawn up play. The execution just left a little to be desired.

In an attempt to track any trends, I’ve been breaking down the first play of the game with this being the fifth straight games. You can find the other four by clicking on “Film Room” in the tab above and going to the playlist labeled “Scripted first play of the game.”

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