Milwaukee Bucks: Boiling down D.J. Augustin’s rough start in Milwaukee

Jan 4, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 4, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA (Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports) /

To say that D.J. Augustin has not started things off on the right foot with the Milwaukee Bucks would be an understatement.

After signing a lucrative three-year, $21 million deal over the offseason, the veteran was expected to lead this retooled second unit at the highest level. The 12-year veteran seemed like the perfect fit for this team, bringing aboard an experienced floor general capable of contributing the scoring and playmaking punch that the Bucks needed.

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However, after 27 appearances off Milwaukee’s bench, the guard has been nothing short of disappointing. Augustin is averaging a measly 5.9 points on .336/.364/.895 shooting splits, 1.2 rebounds, and three assists in 17.8 minutes per game.

His lack of production has been a glaring weak spot for the Bucks as they endure their share of struggles this season, and they desperately need him to find a groove sooner rather than later.

D.J. Augustin’s early struggles with the Milwaukee Bucks have significantly hampered the team’s bench production.

Augustin is currently averaging the second-fewest points and field goal attempts of his career this year with the Bucks. While playing alongside such talented offensive minds like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday, among others, was expected to reduce his production, these numbers have just been abysmal.

Taking a closer look, Augustin has done a bulk of his damage offensively from behind the 3-point line. Shooting 36.4 percent from deep, the guard has been able to space the floor efficiently for the Bucks. His success on offense has particularly come on catch-and-shoot opportunities above anything else.

Per, Augustin is shooting 22-of-51 (43.1 percent) on catch-and-shoot field goal tries this year, while just 15-of-53 (28.3 percent) on pull-up attempts. These catch-and-shoot chances have relatively been the guard’s only form of meaningful offense, as his numbers when he puts the ball on the floor are subpar.

Once again provided by

  • 1 dribble: 4-of-12 shooting (33.3 percent)
  • 2 dribbles: 2-of-11 shooting (18.2 percent)
  • 3-6 dribbles: 7-of-24 shooting (29.2 percent)
  • 7+ dribbles: 11-of-38 shooting (28.9 percent)

A substantial portion of these struggles putting the ball in the basket with following an exceeded amount of dribbling stem from Augustin’s scoring close to the basket. Standing at 5’11”, the undersized guard must battle through the size disadvantage down low, and it has not panned out in his favor this year. Augustin is shooting 28.6 percent on 2-pointers this season and is 8-of-25 on shots taken within the restricted area (32 percent).

Can D.J. Augustin turn things around with the Milwaukee Bucks before it is too late?

With 44 regular season games left to play until the playoffs, Augustin has time to flip the switch and find himself back to form with the Bucks. While it might be easy to say Augustin should stick solely to the catch-and-shoot tries offensively, this team needs him to do more than be a spot-up shooter.

As their backup point guard, they will rely on him to score the basketball from all areas and make plays for others. Augustin has done that throughout his well-traveled career before coming to Milwaukee this past offseason, previously showing that he can be a more than serviceable backup floor general.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether D.J. will still be on this roster beyond the March 25 trade deadline following rumors that the Bucks were in the market for a different backup on the trade market. It is unclear whether the team is still looking for a new backup guard, but the truth will come to light within the next month.

dark. Next. Checking in on previously rumored Bucks trade targets

Hopefully, D.J. Augustin can find his groove with the Bucks and help them in their pursuit of an NBA championship this season.