After seeing his role be relegated from the team’s rotation throughout January and February, Pat Connaughton has returned with a vengeance and has completely shed his midseason malaise.
The fourth-year athletic wing reemerged with a much more consistent three-point shooting stroke, as he’s coming off a month in which he connected on 41.4 percent of his 58 tries from long distance in his 16 appearances throughout March.
Connaughton’s personal regression to the mean has helped hold over the Bucks in light of them losing their most efficient marksman in Brogdon, and one of their most willing deadeyes in Mirotic.
Combining that with his usual blend of energetic perimeter defense and willingness to battle for defensive rebounds, Connaughton has been an adequate cog when playing alongside the team’s regular starting lineup. Per NBA.com/stats, the Bucks are outscoring their opponents by +11.3 points per 100 possessions when Connaughton shares the floor with Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe in 28 minutes since the All-Star break.
While he’s certainly not a like-for-like replacement for Brogdon, Connaughton regaining his shooting touch has given the Bucks a nice stop-gap solution in terms of finding a capable replacement in the Bucks’ closing lineup. That is, when they need to turn to that unit.