The Milwaukee Bucks are cruising through the regular season and on their way to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to these three players.
At 46-7, the Milwaukee Bucks are on pace to become just the third team in NBA history to rack up 70 wins in the regular season. They’ll have one more chance to add to their win total before the All-Star game with a matchup against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
The Bucks have received contributions from just about everyone on the roster. Sporting the league’s best individual talent in Giannis Antetokounmpo and the league’s deepest team, it hasn’t been a fair fight up to this point.
Milwaukee’s roster is built so perfectly that they have two-to-three legitimate NBA-caliber role players at EVERY position. This has allowed them to beat up on teams throughout the entirety of games. These three guys, in particular, have stepped up their games and exceeded expectations heading into the season.
Many people forget Donte DiVincenzo was the first player off the bench for Mike Budenholzer last season when he was only a rookie. This year, after getting fully healthy, he’s thrived as an off-ball defender and slasher on offense.
DiVincenzo practically lives in the passing lanes, always ready to jump the ball in route to a fastbreak opportunity. Although he isn’t as great on the ball (yet), he’s no slouch either. Overall, his defensive prowess has provided Milwaukee with yet another plus defender on the perimeter.
Offensively, he does enough to be serviceable. His three-point percentage is beginning to creep up and currently sits at 34.1 percent. He also has a good feel on offense and knows when to slash to the cup. When you add it all up, the Bucks have found another major contributor to help get them over the hump.
After being acquired by the Bucks last season, George Hill struggled in the regular season. Despite playing good defense, he shot just 28 percent from downtown and 42.8 percent overall. It’s been a complete 180 this time around, as he’s splashing 51.1 percent of his threes.
Hill’s resurgence has carried over from the postseason and he’s been a rock for the Bucks’ second unit. His hamstring has cost him a handful of games and the hope is he can return shortly after the All-Star break. If he can maintain his pre-injury form, the Bucks will continue to roll through the league.
Agreeing to a five-year, $177.5 million contract in the offseason, there was a lot of pressure riding on Khris Middleton’s shoulders. Many fans on social media dislike Middleton and feel he isn’t worthy of such an expensive contract.
Boy, has he proved them wrong.
Averaging the fewest minutes in his career since his rookie season, Middleton is averaging a career-high in points, rebounds and assists per game. He’s also making a higher percentage of shots than ever before.
Middleton has provided the Bucks with the true second star they need to win an NBA championship. If he continues to play at this level, anything is possible for Milwaukee.