Milwaukee Bucks: How will they perform from three-point range?

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 29: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 29: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

With notable ins and outs in that department, how can we expect the Milwaukee Bucks to perform from three-point range next season?

In reflecting on the Milwaukee Bucks’ offseason, one of the more notable takeaways and causes for excitement may, on the surface, center around a couple of high profile shooting additions.

In signing Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews, the Bucks have recruited two outstanding catch-and-shoot specialists who would appear to make for a seamless fit with the types of shots Mike Budenholzer’s team generates.

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The Bucks abided by a “let it fly” philosophy last season, maximizing floor spacing at all times and encouraging players at all five positions to show no hesitation in firing away from distance.

The result of that approach was that Milwaukee led the NBA in catch-and-shoot attempts, in addition to being second in the overall three-point shooting picture to the Houston Rockets. Still, for as well as the Bucks fared in terms of volume, their efficiency often left a lot to be desired.

That was painfully apparent in the Eastern Conference Finals when in spite of creating countless quality looks, the Bucks were unable to knock down enough of them to topple the Toronto Raptors. Overall, Milwaukee’s 35.3 percent from deep left them ranked a distinctly mediocre 15th in the NBA too.

On that front, the fact that the Bucks most efficient shooters from last season have all now departed certainly warrants attention. Of all the players who suited up for the Bucks last season, the top-6 in terms of three-point percentage are no longer with the franchise. Of course, many of those players were bit-part contributors with brief stays throughout the season, but that designation certainly couldn’t be attached to Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell.

Brogdon was effectively the Bucks’ three-point leader as he completed a historic 50-40-90 season with the help of his 42.6 percent success rate from deep. But Snell was by no means insignificant either as he knocked down 39.7 percent of his long range looks.

The argument that may be used to downplay the loss of that duo, and one that undoubtedly has merit, is their low volume can likely be more readily replaced than the high volume output of Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton. Where Lopez attempted 6.3 triples per game, and Middleton followed close behind at 6.2, combining Brogdon and Snell only amounted to 6.6 attempts per night.

Still, it bears repeating that it was efficiency rather than volume where the Bucks could have benefited from an increase in last season. There’s certainly a possibility that Korver and Matthews could make for the dream combination of those two elements, but there’s also cause to have a degree of skepticism too.

Korver and Matthews both averaged over five three-point attempts per game last season, but there’s no guarantee that their minutes in Milwaukee will afford them such a high volume next year, without even accounting for the possibility of a drop-off with two such veteran players.

Under the circumstances, the Bucks couldn’t have done much better than to bring Matthews and Korver in as replacements, but the reality is they may still be left hoping for notable jumps from elsewhere on their roster if they’re to further weaponize their three-point shooting next season.

Middleton and Lopez certainly both have the ability to up their percentages, while there’ll be a real hope that players such as Sterling Brown and Pat Connaughton can also bring their efficiency closer to the 40 percent mark.

Of course, beyond that, a notable shooting improvement for either or both of Eric Bledsoe and Giannis Antetokounmpo would be a complete game-changer for Milwaukee.

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Entering the new campaign, there’s certainly the potential for the Bucks to take their three-point revolution to new heights with improved efficiency, but there’s a similarly strong chance that they could also find themselves in very similar territory to last year.