Milwaukee Bucks: Expectations for Donte DiVincenzo’s rookie season

NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 21: (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - JUNE 21: (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /

As a redshirt sophomore Donte DiVincenzo came up big at Villanova. What should expectations be for his rookie year with the Milwaukee Bucks?

In the little time that Donte DiVincenzo played for the Milwaukee Bucks in NBA Summer League, he was far from spectacular, to say the least. Scoring 0.5 points per game, grabbing 2.0 rebounds, and dishing out 2.0 assists, he struggled to ever get into his groove in Las Vegas.

In spite of that, the expectations will be for DiVincenzo to vastly outperform his Summer League performance. Judging by his performance at the NBA combine and his performances throughout his college career, he should be very capable of playing far above the level shown in Las Vegas too.

Having averaged 13.4 points a game on 48.1 percent shooting in his most recent season at Villanova, DiVincenzo’s scoring should surely see a jump from the little we saw in Las Vegas. Based on his college production, not only can he score but he can shoot, having shot 40.1 percent from three at Villanova.

More from Bucks News

If DiVincenzo can replicate or come close to the percentages he shot in college, he will be a welcome asset to the Milwaukee Bucks’ rotation.

In his time at Villanova, DiVincenzo was part of some great team defenses. The ability to play help defense and rotate over from the weak side to make athletic blocks were evident in his repertoire, even though he wasn’t a standout individual defender. Will he be able to maintain that defensive impact in the NBA, though?

There will be a significant jump in the caliber of athlete DiVincenzo will be tasked with guarding, especially at the guard positions. The 21-year-old more than likely will not be a plus defender in the NBA, however if he is able to at least hold his own on that side of the ball, his offensive potential will help him to get time on the floor.

While the defensive issues in DiVincenzo’s game are well documented, it seems fair to say he understands his limitations. The Delaware native is able to play within himself by never trying to do too much. While he was able to take over a game if needed in college, as he did in the Final Four, DiVincenzo proved that he knew how to fit into a team too.

With the Bucks, DiVincenzo will most likely be given a combo guard role. Whether that translates into any minutes at point guard remains to be seen, but if DiVincenzo were to get any minutes there, how well suited is he to thrive in that position?

On offense, the rookie fits the role just fine. DiVincenzo’s ability to handle the ball, and run an offense are perfectly suited for what the Bucks are looking for, and not only can he pass the ball but he can also shoot off the dribble, ranking in the 90th percentile according to Synergy.

Defensively, is where DiVincenzo would likely struggle, though. Guarding NBA point guards is a tough job for even the best defenders. While DiVincenzo is athletic he will not be able to match up with the majority of NBA point guards defensively. If he is to play point guard for the Bucks this year Budenholzer will have to pick and choose his moments, waiting for the right match-ups.

The hope for DiVincenzo this year is that he can contribute with a combination of shooting and hustle. First and foremost, DiVincenzo will obviously need to get on the court for him to have any impact and that may be a little easier said than done.

According to Basketball Reference, last year, John Collins ranked 17th in minutes per game for rookies. Mike Budenholzer did not use John Collins as much as some other rookies, even though the Atlanta Hawks were in the middle of a rebuilding year. That begs the question; how much will Budenholzer use DiVincenzo on a team that has playoff expectations?

Next. Milwaukee Bucks: Should Giannis Antetokounmpo take on a larger playmaking role again?. dark

DiVincenzo had a great end to his years at Villanova, winning the National Championship while also playing some very high level basketball in the Final Four. When he checks in for the Milwaukee Bucks this upcoming season, look for some high effort play on both sides of the ball and a willingness to rebound, find open teammates, and put up some high quality looks from three.