After the surprising blowout victory in Game 1, the Milwaukee Bucks fell back to earth in Game 2 as they succumbed to the Indiana Pacers, 125-108. The Bucks were still feeling the absence of superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo who continues to be sidelined due to a calf strain. There seems to be no firm timetable on his return, so it will be an arduous journey for the Bucks if they want to advance to the next round.

The Pacers have gained home-court advantage in the series, and they have a huge edge with their youth as the turnaround between Games 3 and 4 is less than 48 hours. The raucous fanbase of Indiana will be screaming loudly on Friday night, and it will be difficult for Milwaukee to make it a competitive series without Antetokounmpo on the floor.

There are a plethora of adjustments that must be done by Bucks head coach Doc Rivers, but here are some of the most obvious ones.

Bucks must dictate the tempo of the game

In Game 1, Milwaukee was able to play their style of play for the majority of the night. There were some outliers in the second half when Indiana sliced down the lead, but for the most part, the pace favored Milwaukee. In Game 2, that was not the case as the Pacers converted 55.6% of their field goals, and they scored 125 points with a 65% true shooting percentage.

It was an offensive masterclass by the Pacers, and they were able to push the ball in almost every possession. Damian Lillard exploded in the first half once again, but Indiana was still ahead by five points after the second period. That was a massive cause for concern for Rivers as it turned out to be a disaster with Indiana outscoring Milwaukee 65-53 in the second half.

The assist numbers were incredible for the Pacers as they tallied 38 dish-offs compared to 24 from the Bucks. Even if Tyrese Haliburton has not been himself in the scoring department, his ability to feed Pascal Siakam or Myles Turner has been the perfect recipe for his squad.

Andrew Nembhard was the lone starter who tallied less than five assists in Game 2, so the unselfishness was heavily emphasized by their coaching staff. If the Bucks want to steal a game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, they must cut down the discrepancy in the assists category.

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Elevate the effort on the defensive side

Relating it to dictating the pace of the contest, the effort and relentlessness of Milwaukee must elevate on Friday night. It was evident that guys like Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez, and Khris Middleton were all lost on the defensive end of the court. They were the three individuals that gave up the most baskets in Game 2, thus the lack of communication and aggressiveness must be rectified immediately in Game 3.

Without Antetokounmpo, the Bucks lack the offensive firepower to outscore one of the best offensive units in the Association. Lillard can continue scoring 30+ for the rest of the series, but they will not come out on top if they do not limit Indiana to less than 110 points. Continuing to limit Haliburton's point total to less than 20 is a terrific foundation, but they cannot allow guys like Nembhard and Turner to combine for 41 markers.

When battling a young and agile bunch like the Pacers, the Bucks must realize that they must sacrifice the production of some guys but make sure that not everyone is involved. A performance they can emulate is how the Miami Heat stole Game 2 in TD Garden as they sacrificed a ton of shots at the rim, but they made sure that Boston will not make it rain from long distance.