Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo’s future could be at point guard

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

As Donte DiVincenzo’s importance grows to the Milwaukee Bucks, the shape of the team’s roster could mean his future will be at point guard.

With 59 games played, and 22 starts, Donte DiVincenzo has enjoyed an immensely successful sophomore season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

After injuries and general struggles in adjusting to NBA play as a rookie, the fact that DiVincenzo has become a key rotation piece, and a player whom the Bucks trust to start when needed, represents quite the impressive turnaround.

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Perhaps the most interesting element of those starts is the fact that they’ve seen DiVincenzo essentially plug in for a variety of different Bucks, and at a number of different positions.

To be more specific, eight of those starts came with DiVincenzo stepping in at point guard in late December while Eric Bledsoe was out injured. With George Hill also missing some time during that span, DiVincenzo found himself tasked with carrying a significant responsibility at a position that isn’t his most natural.

DiVincenzo can handle the ball a little, and is a willing and improving passer and playmaker. Still, that doesn’t make him a natural to slot in at point guard by any means, yet the construction of the Bucks’ roster means he can play that role very comfortably on this team where it would likely be much more of a struggle elsewhere.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo boasting the highest usage percentage (36.2) in the entire NBA, the ball doesn’t necessarily need to go through the hands of Milwaukee’s point guard all that often. Antetokounmpo is an extremely skilled passer and playmaker, and the ideal scenario for the Bucks allows him to be the central hub of the offense.

Additionally, Khris Middleton has improved dramatically in terms of his own comfort in initiating offense and creating for his teammates too, while his usage percentage (25.9) is also far from modest.

All of this becomes particularly more interesting in considering some of the struggles that Eric Bledsoe has had in the postseason during his time with the Bucks.

If those problems were to persist, and if the Bucks had to rethink their starting lineup structure in the longer term, DiVincenzo could well be Milwaukee’s answer at the 1 spot.

To be clear, given how Milwaukee’s offense is largely played through their small forward and power forward, a point guard who can, above all else, defend and shoot makes for an obvious fit.

This is not a new idea, as the same general thought process led the Bucks to sign Matthew Dellavedova as a point guard to fit alongside Antetokounmpo back in the summer of 2016.

DiVincenzo boasts the same relentless energy and knack for making hustle plays, but he has far superior athleticism, along with size, which makes him considerably better equipped for the challenges that come with guarding the modern NBA point guard.

The former Villanova standout’s shooting remains something of a question mark, but with a notable step up to a respectable 34.4 percent this year, there’s certainly hope that further growth could be a possibility.

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Based on his play in 2019-20, it has started to feel like something of an inevitability that DiVincenzo could be a long term starter for the Bucks. With his own development, and the skill-set of Milwaukee’s best players, it should be no surprise if that proves to be at point guard rather than shooting guard, though.