One thing is for certain after this landmark summer for the Milwaukee Bucks: they’ll definitely be better than last season.
The loss of key glue guys like Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley could possibly have an effect on the young team early in the season, but the off-season addition of big man Greg Monroe alone has filled a huge need the team sorely lacked last year.
Along with the big addition of Monroe, the Bucks have done a good job addressing the team’s offensive concerns, especially in the team’s perimeter shooting this off-season.
Starting with the deal for versatile guard Greivis Vasquez in a draft day trade, the drafting of Rashad Vaughn, and the addition of Chris Copeland, we’ve seen the team’s bench that fell off immensely in the second half of this past season bolstered significantly.
The team still needs to see key improvements from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Michael Carter-Williams on the offensive end that will be critical for how big of a leap the Bucks can make next season, but when fully healthy, the Bucks have one of the most complete lineups in the team’s 48-year history.
But one area the Bucks need to see a boost from top to bottom is their free-throw shooting. This past year, the team were ranked 25th the league in overall free-throw attempts, per Basketball-Reference.com.
Despite the lowly amount of free throw attempts, it’s encouraging to see two of the team’s best scorers around the basket in Michael Carter-Williams (1st with 4.4 attempts per game) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2nd, with 4.3 attempts per game) at the top of the team’s free throw attempts this past year.
Another encouraging sign for the team was how efficient the Bucks were from the charity stripe last year, as the team shot 76 percent, good for 12th in the league last year.
While the team could always improve their efficiency from the free-throw line, can the Bucks find an answer in getting to the line more next year?
One player that could be an instant answer for the team is their big man Greg Monroe.
Last year, Monroe made it to the line about 5 times a game, which would have led the Bucks this past season, and he made 75 percent of those free throw attempts.
Much has been made about Monroe’s low post presence since he signed with the team a little over a month ago, but Monroe’s ability to get the line at a very respectable rate could be an underrated benefit in adding him to the team.
Although his return is unclear at the moment, another player that could be an answer for the team’s free-throw woes is forward Jabari Parker.
While he shot around 70 percent from the line in 2.6 free throw attempts per game last year before his unfortunate injury, his ability to drive and score around the basket is great way of attracting fouls from opposing players.
Of course, getting to the free-throw line is not an automatic answer, you still have to be able to connect from the charity stripe as well.
But the Bucks were surprisingly efficient from the free-throw line and will obviously look to improve on that number set from last year.
Yes, the Bucks have bigger concerns to worry about offensively, but the ability to get to the line at a higher rate could be a saving grace for a team that’s still looking to fix their offensive concerns.
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