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Milwaukee Bucks prefer transition offense over popular pace and space

From NBA media reports

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Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd was a game changer as a player, a point guard built like a linebacker with the skill and athleticism to play the game at a speed and with physicality that most of his opponents could never match. So it’s a little strange to hear Kidd’s views on the pace and space era of the game … let’s just say he doesn’t get all the fuss.

That’s not to say that he doesn’t prioritize some of the benefits of playing the game at a certain tempo. While the Bucks won’t make it on anyone’s list of teams that have exploit the finer points of the pace and space era, they do emphasize their transition offense with talents like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe leading the attack. Matt Velazquez of the Journal Sentinel explains:

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd isn’t worried about pace. To him, it’s a hollow statistic inflated by quick, bad shots, whether or not they go in.

“I don’t understand why we’re so excited or intrigued with pace,” Kidd said. “We’re making a big deal about a stat that does not win championships.”

While pace and squeezing the most possessions out of game isn’t part of the Bucks’ game plan — Milwaukee ranks 21st in the NBA in pace, partly because of its defensive strategy of pulling off rebounds to inhibit teams from getting into transition — Kidd does want his offense to run with a certain amount of speed to either take advantage of or create transition opportunities where his best playmakers can flourish.

Heading into Tuesday’s 7 p.m. game against the Chicago Bulls at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Bucks, armed with dynamic playmakers in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton, have established themselves as one of the top transition teams in the NBA.

“I think it’s always good when you can get the ball up before 21 on the (shot) clock,” Kidd said. “It gives us more opportunities to move the ball. Also not to let the defense set so you can get an easy paint touch or you can get a wide open three. That’s something that we’ve always talked about.”

Despite being one of the league’s bottom-third teams in regards to pace, the Bucks rank third in transition frequency, with 17.8% of their possessions coming in transition. That marks trails only the Los Angeles Lakers (20.0%) and Golden State Warriors (19.4%), two of the fastest-paced teams in the league.