With the 2021-22 NBA season right around the corner, the Milwaukee Bucks have a target on their back as defending champions. Milwaukee fans will not see some familiar faces when the season starts on October 19th. With the departures of P.J. Tucker and Bryn Forbes, the Bucks bring in pieces to help their title defense.
Outside of the big three of Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Holiday, the Bucks depth is very good. With the return of players from last season and the off-season additions, the Bucks bench has a great amount of experience to it. Here is an outlook about what the Bucks look like outside of their big three.
Donte DiVincenzo Still Rehabbing Foot
Donte DiVincenzo is still coming off a foot injury that he sustained during Milwaukee’s first-round series against the Miami Heat. David Aldridge of The Athletic reported back on September 23rd that DiVincenzo has yet to be cleared by the team to take part in training camp. Once he clears his protocol, the former Wildcat will be back in his normal role as a starter on the team.
Before his injury in the playoffs, DiVincenzo started all 66 games that he appeared in for the Bucks. Averaging 10.4 points per game on 42% shooting, Donte will be a major key in the back-court once he returns from his injury.
Connington, Portis Bring Positive Bench Minutes
The story of the Bucks may come from the big three that sit in the starting lineup, but the Bucks bench is a big reason why they ended up winning the championship. Pat Connington and Bobby Portis were two big pieces that coach Mike Budenholzer ended up utilizing last season. With Donte DiVincenzo still in rehab with his foot, Portis and Connington are both looking to bring a spark off the bench once again in 2022.
Bobby Portis averaged 11.4 points per game last season, while Pat Connington averaged only 6.8 points per game. Connington shot 43% from the floor, 37% from deep in 2020-21.
Newcomers Look to Make Great First Impression
The Bucks bring in a haul of talented players, including a couple of veterans. These players include George Hill, Rodney Hood, Grayson Allen, and Semi Ojeleye. The last time George Hill played for Milwaukee he went on to lead the league in 3-point percentage. These additions are going to look for an opportunity to see minutes early in the season with DiVincenzo still possibly missing time. Rodney Hood has been a reliable mid-range scorer throughout his career in the league. He will look to continue that with the defending champions.
Jordan Nwora Should See Minutes but Might Not
Jordan Nwora‘s summer league was something that was surprising to Bucks fans. Nwora ran the offense for the most part in the Bucks summer league games, showing that he can both shoot and facilitate. Averaging just north of 20 points per game in Las Vegas, Nwora proved to the coaches that he can play at a high level. If Nwora doesn’t see minutes with the Bucks it is because of how deep Milwaukee is, and not because of anything else.
As you can see, the Bucks have a lot of depth coming into the season. The back-court depth that Milwaukee has is a good problem to have, pending a potential injury to a player. There will be a clearer picture about what coach Bud does with the rotation once Donte is back into the lineup. Another successful season is on the horizon for the City of Milwaukee.
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