Milwaukee Bucks: Looking at Donte DiVincenzo’s bubbling aggressiveness

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 16: (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 16: (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Donte DiVincenzo has clearly grown into the Milwaukee Bucks’ wild card for so many good reasons this season and that has included key strides offensively.

While the Milwaukee Bucks have largely been viewed as the same all-out wrecking crew for the second straight season, there was one distinct contributor that all Bucks fans were waiting for in terms of his moment in the spotlight.

Before the season stoppage, sophomore guard Donte DiVincenzo had fully emerged as the Bucks’ critical developmental piece that gave a veteran-laden squad an injection of youth and unbridled energy and athleticism on both ends of the floor.

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DiVincenzo’s infectious free wheeling and disruptive defending has led to him increasingly carving out a role in the Bucks’ rotation and he’s filled in in the starting lineup when the Bucks have been without Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton due to injuries over the course of the season.

As the year went along, DiVincenzo’s work offensively has neared on equal measure with his defensive services and his confidence certainly showed when thrust into making more plays with the ball in his hands.

With greater trust in his game, Donte DiVincenzo’s offensive aggressiveness has come to the for for the Milwaukee Bucks.

That increase in responsibilities has helped unlock DiVincenzo’s attacking prowess, whether it’s driving throughout the paint one-on-one or via the pick-and-roll to give the Bucks another capable ball handler and playmaker in halfcourt situations specifically.

Certainly, the efficiency that DiVincenzo has sported when attempting drives has been a bright spot in his offensive repertoire as he’s converted 53.7 percent of his 82 driving attempts this season, per

What’s even more encouraging when diving deep into DiVincenzo’s production is the level of aggression getting downhill to the basket that he has increasingly shown over the course of the season, and how that has resulted in increased high-percentage scoring opportunities.

That can be seen in how DiVincenzo raised his free throw attempts on a per-36 minute basis from 1.6 during the month of November to 3.0 attempts by that same standard during the shortened March before play was officially paused. While the Delaware native can surely improve upon his 76.9 free throw percentage from this season, that is besides the point.

The fact that DiVincenzo has grown more comfortable as a penetrator as well as absorbing all sorts of contact when navigating through the trees, so to speak, gives the Bucks an even greater spark to maintain their offensive diversity. And every bit has helped the Bucks improve their free throw attempt rate, which ranked 18th for the 2018-19 season, and has grown to 12th this season.

Being the ultimate read-and-react player has made him a quintessential complementary player in Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer’s system. DiVincenzo’s fearlessness has been fully on display throughout his breakout campaign this year. And as the season has gone along, DiVincenzo’s budding skill set has been paired with the relentlessness that has frequently given the Bucks a shot in the arm on a nightly basis.

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Given how DiVincenzo’s rookie season was essentially a wash due to nagging heel injuries, the fresh start he’s been able to enjoy this year has been a terrific subplot in a fantastic season overall for the Bucks. And very soon, we may see that DiVincenzo’s first playoff run was more than worth the longer wait.