After an impressive start to his sophomore season, Donte DiVincenzo has slowed down in recent games for the Milwaukee Bucks, and a lack of aggression may be to blame.
Donte DiVincenzo has been having quite the breakout season thus far for the league-best Milwaukee Bucks. After not receiving minutes to the start the season, the second-year guard came out looking like he had something to prove after an injury-riddled rookie campaign.
This impressive play has earned the 22-year-old a starting spot in 20 of his 33 total games as Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe missed time with injuries. On the season, DiVincenzo is averaging 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per gamw, a massive leap from his stats last year.
Having scored 9.1 points per game in the month of November, DiVincenzo was producing efficiently on the offensive end, averaging 43.4 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from three-point territory. Scoring in double-digits for the Milwaukee Bucks in nine out of 16 games that month, Donte was providing a spark that helped Milwaukee win 15 of those 16.
However, the sophomore took a slight step back in the month of December on the offensive end. Shooting 43.4 percent from the field just as he did last month, the guard’s percentage from behind the arc is what had been holding him back throughout the month. Averaging 2.9 attempts from deep per game, DiVincenzo was only connecting on 27.3 percent of those attempts, compared to 35.9 percent on 4.0 attempts in November.
The amounts of shots DiVincenzo has taken was a major factor in the decrease of his numbers. In November, the guard was shooting 8.1 field goals per game and averaging 9.1 points. Yet, in December, Donte was shooting 6.6 field goals per game and averaging 7.7 points.
These numbers may not seem like completely game-altering statistics, but with DiVincenzo’s emergence this season along with his increased role, every shot counts. Leading the team in steals and, overall, being able to produce an impressive and consistent defensive presence, the offensive game is the biggest inconsistency at the moment for the young guard.
DiVincenzo carried his woes over into the new year, as the Bucks were able to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 106-104 on January 1. Shooting 2-of-3 from the field, Donte poured in six points during his 24 minutes of action. Finding himself in the starting lineup once again, it was another quiet night offensively as Milwaukee improves to 31-5.
Playing beside the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton means that DiVincenzo is not expected to carry the team offensively by any means. However, still very young, the former Villanova guard appears that he could become a crucial piece of the Bucks for a long time if he continues to develop his game, specifically the offense.
The Bucks undoubtedly revolve around superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, but their role players have been a massive spark for them this season, particularly DiVincenzo. As their starting lineup approaches full health for the first time in a while, Donte will likely return to the bench.
Regardless, he will clearly continue to receive meaningful minutes, and expect big things to come with them. If his confidence continues to grow offensively along with his role, there is no limit to the potential this guard could posses.