Milwaukee Bucks: Analyzing Donte DiVincenzo’s development in his third season

Jan 6, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

Well before the Milwaukee Bucks‘ 2020-21 season tipped off, it was clear it was a big campaign for Donte DiVincenzo.

For a brief glimmer of time, it was one that DiVincenzo would have spent elsewhere had the Bucks’ botched Bogdan Bogdanovic pursuit gone through over the offseason. Instead, DiVincenzo has remained in Milwaukee and it certainly stands as a blessing in disguise for both player and team, especially considering Bogdanovic has missed all but 10 games this season.

More from Bucks News

DiVincenzo has maintained his two-way impact while stepping into the Bucks’ starting lineup, all of which has been sorely needed while the Bucks have been without Jrue Holiday as he still remains in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Just as he has done in seasons past, he’s provided the Bucks with relatively consistent defending both on-and-off the ball from the guard position.

Per, the Bucks have allowed 107.1 points per 100 possessions with DiVincenzo on the floor and they’re allowing 109.3 points per 100 possessions when DiVincenzo is on the bench. Some of that improved rating can certainly be attributed to him playing the bulk of his minutes with the team’s best lineups, but it’s no coincidence either.

DiVincenzo is the only player out of the current crop of available Milwaukee guards who brings a boost on both ends of the floor. In fact, his ability to effectively switch, to occasionally disrupt the passing lanes, to provide help on drives, and to contest perimeter shots relatively well has made him a net positive on that end of the floor.

Another critical thing that DiVincenzo does well on the defensive end is communicate. By constantly calling out things that he’s seeing in real time, DiVincenzo is helping himself and his teammates to be in a better position to be proactive in what opposing offenses are doing. That’s a critical element to making something like a switch-heavy defensive scheme work, a scheme which the Bucks have been working on more and more in recent games to try and reign in the three.

Donte DiVincenzo’s steady offensive improvements have been encouraging.

On the other end of the floor, DiVincenzo has taken a step forward in some respects as well. One area where he’s improved is in his long range shooting. After shooting 33.6 percent on 3.7 3-point attempts per game for the 2019-20 season, DiVincenzo is up to shooting a career-high 39.2 percent from that level of the floor.

DiVincenzo has improved leaps and bounds on catch-and-shoot triples as he’s hitting such shots at a 40.4 percent clip and is 47-of-124 on threes taken from both above the break spots, good for 37.9 percent. That’s a major improvement on where DiVincenzo was standing as a shooter last season and his postseason struggles certainly became a hindrance as the Bucks collapsed in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

His ability to space the floor more effectively has helped open up the Bucks offense. If he continues to pose this kind of threat from the perimeter throughout the season, and perhaps explores taking more threes from the corners to add another dimension to shooting from distance, it will make attempts to crowd the paint against Giannis Antetokounmpo that much harder to execute.

He’s also subtlety improved his playmaking efficiency. His assist-to-turnover ratio has jumped from 1.71 a season ago to 2.32 now. He may not be assisting very many baskets himself, but he’s been much more sure-handed with the ball where he’s averaging 2.8 assists per game.

The biggest obstacle that DiVincenzo has to tackle, though, comes upon driving and finishing within the paint. To this point in the season, DiVincenzo is converting 54.7 percent of his 95 attempts within the restricted area and is 17-of-42 when looking to score on his driving attempts (40.5 percent).

Those subpar marks stand as the reason behind why DiVincenzo’s field goal percentage has dipped from 45.5 percent last year to 42.3 percent this season. Even by advanced metrics, DiVincenzo’s efficiency has taken a big dip as his 53.4 true shooting percentage is down from the 55.7 percent he finished with last year.

Shoring up his dribble driving and ability to finish within a crowd and in the face of contact will go a long way in DiVincenzo picking up his efficiency in the paint and at the hoop. It’s in these situations where DiVincenzo can force the issue, which certainly depends within the lineups he’s playing in.

And whether DiVincenzo can develop his pull up jumper still remains something of a question at this point in time. DiVincenzo’s pull up threes have accounted for 18 of his 27 makes when shooting off the dribble this season and he is shooting 37.5 percent from three on such looks. Whether he can develop an in-between game, though, has notbeen answered to this point.

dark. Next. Looking at Bucks' most valuable assets ahead of deadline

He may not be the flashiest player in this squad, and he isn’t without his flaws. However, there is no doubt that Donte DiVincenzo has been a solid contributor for the team so far and has developed along nicely throughout his third season with the Bucks.