In spite of an injury disrupted start to his NBA career, Milwaukee Bucks wing Donte DiVincenzo is proving himself to be a master of steals at an early age.
Over the course of the last month, I’ve already highlighted how steals are coming easily to him, with DiVincenzo impressively ranked in the top-25 in steals per game this season, in spite of his relatively limited playing time.
My co-site expert Jordan Treske also laid out the case for why, based on what he’s shown to date, All-Defensive teams seem like a real possibility in DiVincenzo’s future.
On this occasion, though, it’s worth examining just how well DiVincenzo’s steals numbers stack up for a player so early in his NBA career.
Without the opportunity to play two healthy seasons to begin his pro career, or the kind of larger role and playing opportunity that could be afforded to top picks, it’s unfair to measure DiVincenzo’s first two seasons in a league-wide, historical context. But it is instructive to look at how he compares in Bucks history alone.
With his rookie season curtailed by injury, and the present season currently suspended, DiVincenzo’s first two season have been a little strange to say the least. That amounts to 86 NBA games played to date for the Delaware native, and 1,773 minutes overall. In that time, DiVincenzo has registered 93 steals, which translates to 1.1 steals per game, or 1.9 steals per 36 minutes.
For the current campaign, DiVincenzo is averaging 1.4 steals per game, a mark which few Bucks have ever achieved through one of their first two seasons in the league.
In total, per Basketball-Reference, there have only been 10 other instances when a Bucks player hit that mark in those formative years of their career. That short list includes franchise steals leader Quinn Buckner on two occasions, along with the likes of Marques Johnson, Brian Winters, and Glenn Robinson, among others.
Taking the two seasons combined, and comparing DiVincenzo’s 1.1 steals per game over that span, doesn’t lead to a much more extensive list either.
Donte is just one of 13 Bucks to do that while playing over 50 games, with Ray Allen and Paul Pressey among the other notable players joining the aforementioned franchise legends in that category.
This points to it being pretty uncommon for a player to enter the league and force turnovers at the rate that DiVincenzo has, which is only made all the more impressive by the disruption DiVincenzo has had to deal with, along with his relatively modest role on a juggernaut team.
For both the Bucks and DiVincenzo, the hope will be that smoother seasons lie ahead so that he can really get to work in terms of taking the next steps in his development.