BTBP Roundtable: First Impressions of the 2015-16 Milwaukee Bucks

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Nov 2, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks point guard

Michael Carter-Williams

(5) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets shooting guard

Markel Brown

(22) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2. With Jerryd Bayless starting the season with some big games, Ennis impressing since his return, and MCW and Vasquez struggling with injury and form respectively, what way do you see the point guard rotation panning out long term this season?

AM: Michael Carter-Williams starting, he’s still the main guy, with Vasquez as the go-to backup off the bench. I know how unlikely that sounds with his shooting right now, but that will turn around. Bayless will get minutes here and there, it’s guaranteed, Ennis will have to force his way from the back though.

TW: Probably MCW starting when he comes back with Bayless as the traditional backup point guard, Vasquez as the bench scorer who hopefully starts shooting more than 0 percent, and Ennis as the forgotten fourth point.

JT: I don’t see any of the first week and a half of play having a long-term effect on the point guard rotation to be honest. There’ll be times where Vasquez has a hot hand and Bayless will struggle or MCW will have a hot hand that forces him to play some more time than usual so I think it’s more of a keep going with what’s working kind of thing.

One thing, however, I’ve noticed already is Kidd’s tendency to have a longer leash for Vasquez and Bayless than MCW and Ennis so that’s one thing to watch as the season goes on.

JW: Long term I do believe MCW will keep his starting point guard job. He did struggle with turnovers in the first three games, but he was much improved in their first win of the season over Brooklyn before leaving the game with an ankle injury. I was very critical of Jerryd Bayless toward the end of last season and the beginning of this season.

Before his 26 point outburst that night in Brooklyn making six three-point field goals, I had said I’d be happy if I never saw him on the court again. Since then he has been one of the best Bucks. Ennis is more of a true point guard, so I believe he may be the primary backup to MCW if he can perfect the three-point shot and if Vasquez doesn’t start knocking down shots.

With Bayless playing the way he is I’m sure Coach Kidd will find a way to get him in the lineup as either a one or a two. And with Vasquez I think he is still just getting used to playing with new teammates. Remember, he was one of the few bright spots from opening night, so there is no reason he can’t get back on track.

JK: I think that it is clear that MCW is the Bucks starter and will garner the most minutes when healthy. However, it will be interesting to see how the PG position unfolds at the end of games. With the way our team is built, the PG position does not need to create his own shot at the end of games. For that reason I like MCW to finish games with his defensive abilities.

He has shown much better shot selection so far this year and I feel comfortable with him finishing games and distributing the ball to our end of game scorers (Middleton and Moose). Bayless will come and go, play big minutes when he is hot, and frustrate us when he is not.

There is no way Vasquez can possibly shoot this bad all year, so he could be interesting late in games if he can get going from the three point line. Ennis is the wildcard in the equation, if he can continue to knock down shots he could give J Kidd another guy to throw in there in order to jolt this offense.

JH: I hope that MCW can get healthy. I have seen some good things out of him when he has played. I like him as the starting point for the remainder of the season. I think that is a good role for him if he can be the excellent facilitator he has shown, at times, he can be.

I hope Ennis becomes the main point guard off the bench. I like his upside and love what he has shown this season. As he gets more comfortable with the team I think he will become a fine role player. I love what Bayless has been providing so far but we all know it isn’t something he can sustain for 82 games. He has earned his role and I hope Coach Kidd will play him for a lot of minutes when he is hot but also cut his minutes down and distribute them to Ennis and Vasquez (if he ever gets on track) when he is cold.

I think Vasquez is going to get his shooting stroke back. When he does he should be a key contributor in bench units. For now he should get fewer minutes until he proves that he can contribute on a regular basis.

AE: One of these pieces won’t be here next year, and everyone is expendable. This is MCW’s season to prove that he can take the reins of this team. If he doesn’t make enough of a leap, expect the front office to either look for a trade for some expiring contracts, or look to make an impact next season in free agency.

This year, though, expect to see a lot of minutes from Bayless, and potentially more minutes from Ennis down the stretch if MCW and Vasquez don’t pick it up.

MH: Kidd loves Bayless and for better or worse I think he trusts him more than he does any other point guard on the roster. I’ve been very encouraged/shocked by Ennis. He’s looked like a very good on ball defender that for the most part defers on offense.

Really, that’s what I want to see from MCW going forward. When he’s running with the starters, he should be the fifth option on offense. If he does that, I’m more than fine with him as the starting point guard.

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