Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo racks up steals with ease

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 06: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 06: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Donte DiVincenzo has been a defensive talisman for the Milwaukee Bucks, and that has translated to him putting up impressive steals numbers.

Even in an incredibly fun and memorable season for the Milwaukee Bucks overall, Donte DiVincenzo‘s emergence has provided a notable bright spot for the team’s fans.

In part, that can undoubtedly be attributed to just how low expectations were after DiVincenzo spent most of his rookie season sidelined through injury, along with how unconvincing he had looked when he was fit and healthy.

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There have been no such problems this year, though, as DiVincenzo has largely avoided injuries and grabbed the opportunities he’s received in the rotation with both hands.

As a result, DiVincenzo is not just a regular and important cog in the Bucks’ rotation at present, but increasingly looks like he will be one of the team’s most important players for many years to come.

One of the elements that has secured DiVincenzo’s status in that regard is his relentless, lockdown defense. DiVincenzo routinely hounds ball-handlers and chases sharpshooters around screens, affording little respite and generally making life incredibly difficult for opposing players.

One area where DiVincenzo is particularly adept on that front is accumulating steals, whether that be from poking the ball loose or cutting off passes in the passing lanes.

Averaging 1.4 steals per game when the NBA season was suspended, DiVincenzo is the Bucks’ steals leader on the season. On a roster that includes Eric Bledsoe and Giannis Antetokounmpo, that would be impressive in its own right, yet DiVincenzo’s minutes total makes it an even more notable feat.

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Logging just 23.1 minutes per game, DiVincenzo’s steals stand out even more when measured in a  league wide context.

Ranked 25th overall among the NBA’s steals leaders, only one player who’s ranked above DiVincenzo in those standings has averaged fewer minutes per game than the former Villanova Wildcat has so far.

The fact that the identity of that player is Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle, a player who has been hailed for his rare defensive gifts, certainly does nothing to disparage what DiVincenzo has achieved in what was essentially shaping up as his own first full season as a pro.

With a burgeoning range of skills on the offensive end, there’s real reason to be optimistic about what the future could yet have in store for the Delaware native but, at minimum, DiVincenzo’s defense provides an immensely solid foundation to his game.

Having become so adept at coming up with steals, and acting as a disruptor, this year, there’s no reason to believe that Donte won’t continue to improve in that department as his career progresses too.

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On that front, Bucks fans have a lot to look forward to, and opposing ball-handlers may have years of nightmares ahead.