Milwaukee Bucks: Sterling Brown’s rebounding instincts are key to the Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 29: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 29: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

While much of his potential revolves around his 3-and-D capabilities, second-year wing Sterling Brown’s eagerness to attack the glass looks to be an added bonus for the Milwaukee Bucks.

It’s just been a little over a year into his tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks, but the promise of Sterling Brown has certainly caught the attention of Bucks fans everywhere.

Coming off a rookie season in which he only made 54 appearances and tallied a total of 776 minutes of action, Brown checked all the boxes for what is necessary from a player of his stature and position, that being a classic 3-and-D player.

With that said, given the majority, if not all, of Brown’s high points throughout his rookie campaign came in flashes, much of the discussion surrounding the 23-year-old’s NBA future is still firmly based in potential.

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Of course, the arrival of new Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer introduces a new element to help Brown harness the potential he possesses at a faster rate, considering the track record Budenholzer and his staff have in churning out productive players of Brown’s mold.

While much of the attention he receives centers around his two-way potential, Brown’s budding rebounding output stands to be underrated and generally underdiscussed.

We’re obviously working with a small sample size here, but Brown’s instincts to both crash and compete on the glass paid dividends within a porous rebounding team as the Bucks have been in recent memory.

That showed significantly on the defensive end where Brown posted a 17.5 defensive rebounding percentage as well as topped out with 5.4 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes as a rookie. The encouraging returns don’t stop there in that area as Brown tallied a 60.4 defensive rebounding percentage, per Second Spectrum’s tracking data.

On the whole, Brown’s drive to track back and fight for positioning on the boards resulted in him registering a 57 total rebounding percentage last season.

Much has obviously been made about the intangibles and the competitive nature Brown holds in terms of the caliber and the kind of defender he projects to be, but it clearly crosses over in his rebounding capabilities.

From that standpoint, Brown’s brand of physicality and strength will be a pivotal asset to a Bucks team that must improve all across the board in cleaning up on both ends of the floor in the first season under Coach Bud.

There’s no question Brown’s skill development is paramount to raising the prospects of the level of player he will become, whether that is a mere rotation piece or a possible fourth or fifth starter.

Yet it’s the tenacity and doggedness that Brown consistently displays in virtually every facet of his game that will continually put him in the discussion to soak up more opportunities for playing time, last year being a prime example.

Brown’s toughness was something Bucks general manager Jon Horst actually referred to when explaining the selection of Donte DiVincenzo midway through this year’s draft, which you can watch here:

"“The things that we think give him a chance and an opportunity to do that are his physical toughness, the level at which he competes and the fact that he can shoot the basketball. And not to compare him to Sterling Brown, but those are a lot of things that we liked about with Sterling last year when we drafted him and thought he could come in and contribute.”"

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With both a clean slate now that Budenholzer is in the mix as well as being past the initial adjustments upon entering the league, a good deal of attention will be focused on how Brown can not only raise his game but put his mark on the squad in the type of glimpses we saw throughout last season.