Milwaukee Bucks: Sterling Brown’s physicality provides options

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 20: (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 20: (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Sterling Brown is known for his hard-nosed, bulldog mentality, and the way in which he applies himself physically gives the Milwaukee Bucks a myriad of options.

Milwaukee Bucks’ wing Sterling Brown is readying himself for what will be easily the most important season of his young pro career to date.

Brown has experienced ups and downs through his first two years in the NBA, but also offered much more than occasional glimpses of how he could stick around in the league in the longer term.

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Of course, if he wants to make that possibility a reality, Brown will need to impress and take major strides forward in 2019-20, as he will have to deal with the uncertainty of free agency when summer 2020 rolls around.

In order to earn the playing opportunities he’ll require to land the security of a lucrative pay day next summer, Brown will have to round out his shooting ability, as our own Dan Larsen recently outlined.

Outside of that, though, Brown does have plenty of positives going for him that could benefit both him and the Bucks if they can find ways to channel them effectively next season.

At the forefront of that conversation should certainly be the combination of Brown’s physical strength and his willingness to embrace more unglamorous work and compete relentlessly.

Brown’s defense, and particularly his reliability in terms of locking in and focusing on that end of the floor, have undoubtedly been crucial in getting him on the floor throughout his first two seasons, but there’s likely still scope for those attributes to be more finely tuned to make him a considerably more versatile player.

Brown boasts a stout frame, measuring in at 6’6″ tall, 232lbs, and with a 6’10” wingspan. With those numbers considered, in some ways it’s a little surprising to consider the majority of Brown’s minutes with the Bucks have come at the 2-guard spot.

That’s not to say that Brown hasn’t often been asked to slide up to the larger wing spot, but for many players with his physical base, small forward would be their core position and a healthy diet of small-ball minutes at the 4 spot would be a regular feature of their playing diet.

Considering the development of a player such as P.J. Tucker‘s career, there’s certainly good cause to believe Brown could be well-served by rounding out his own skills, body, and comfort to allow him to hold his own across positions 2-through-4.

As it stands, there’s reason to believe Brown should be able to adjust rather well to playing minutes at positions where he’d be traditionally considered to be undersized.

One standout example along those lines comes in the form of Brown’s outstanding rebounding instincts. Across two seasons, Brown has averaged 6.5 rebounds per 36 minutes, and has shown an ability to come up with crucial boards on both ends and to fight through significant contact in order to corral them.

With his ability to act as an enforcer and the kind of defensive disruptor that can throw opposing teams off their game, Brown possesses a style of play that isn’t obviously present in any other player on Milwaukee’s roster.

That can have real value, although it obviously requires other elements to click into place too. For example, Brown needs to avoid racking up needless fouls in the process of playing an aggressive brand of defense.

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Still, there’s something that’s clearly worth exploring in that regard for both the player and the team. Brown’s future may well be tied to finding ways to maximize his versatility, but in the short term the Bucks could also be major benefactors from unlocking a new range of options for Brown.