Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo’s attacking key to late season surge

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo‘s sophomore season has steadily gained momentum as the year has rolled on and his ability to attack the basket has been a key improvement during that span.

Long before the NBA season was suspended earlier this week, the Milwaukee Bucks’ vision of Donte DiVincenzo had manifested itself on the court.

DiVincenzo’s sophomore campaign has been an incredible bright spot in a Bucks season that has been a shining beacon throughout franchise history. Where his injury stumbles derailed his rookie season last year, the Big Ragu has cleared any and all hurdles throughout his breakout run for the Bucks this year.

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The 22-year-old’s two-way impact has been instrumental in his all-purpose role both off the bench and when filling in for standout Bucks contributors when sidelined with injury.

As much as that was the case, DiVincenzo’s best basketball of the season certainly came following the All-Star break and before this unfortunate stoppage due to the coronavirus.

With a string of double-digit scoring performances, even coming through the Bucks’ worst stretch of the season over the last week and a half, DiVincenzo has made gradual strides throughout all facets of his game, the biggest of which being his ability to attack off the dribble.

The Villanova product’s attacking capabilities haven’t been the most polished facet of his game and the same rang true for his finishing at the basket. But with DiVincenzo’s offensive development becoming more refined as the season has gone along, so has his ability to beat defenders off the dribble, break down opposing defenses and convert a variety of finishes at the cup.

To that point, on the 185 drives DiVincenzo has attempted this season, he’s converted 53.7 percent of his 82 driving scoring opportunities, per Along with that, DiVincenzo has put down 64.1 percent of his 170 attempts made within the restricted area this year.

Those are certainly glowing marks for DiVincenzo to accomplish and it obviously backs up the growth he has made on that side of the ball.

The one area where DiVincenzo’s dribble penetration has yet to expand his scoring output is getting to the free throw line where he’s attempting 2.1 free throws per-36 minutes this season and has a 17.3 percent free throw attempt rate, per

Whether that comes over time as DiVincenzo keeps fine tuning his game remains to be seen, but giving the Bucks another shot creator or focal point to run the offense through on possessions diversifies the team’s read-and-react offense under head coach Mike Budenholzer.

DiVincenzo’s offensive function obviously goes beyond his ability to put the ball down on the floor and attack the rack. Equally, DiVincenzo’s growing ability to knock down open catch-and-shoot 3-pointers has expanded his scoring prowess where he’s going 36.3 percent of his 160 attempts in such situations.

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As crucial as it is to the Bucks’ spacing that DiVincenzo hits triples, the ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands is equally crucial for when their offense breaks down or opposing defenses limit what they do best. And hopefully we’ll see that in full force when the Bucks make their return to action, whenever that is.