Milwaukee Bucks: Grading the reserves at the halfway mark of season

Jan 9, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2021; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Nick Monroe/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Pat Connaughton, LA Clippers: Kawhi Leonard
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks: All-Star break grade for Pat Connaughton

Many questioned the decision making of the Bucks’ front office when they handed Pat Connaughton a three-year, $16 million deal this offseason. Although it was made more justifiable by using his Early Bird Rights to bring the guard back, he would have to prove himself after a lackluster playoff run.

In 33 appearances this season, Connaughton has been relatively solid off the bench, averaging 6.5 points on a .443/.393/.824 slash line, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Playing a career-high 21.1 minutes per game, the 28-year-old has seen a more prominent role than ever before, and to his credit, he has stepped up.

The biggest factor playing into Connaughton’s success this season has been his improved shooting from behind the arc. After shooting just 33.1 percent on 2.9 attempts throughout his first two seasons in Milwaukee, he is knocking down 39.3 percent of his 3.9 attempts this year. That floor spacing has been a welcoming revelation, and hopefully it is sustainable.

Logging the second-most minutes off the bench behind Portis, the Bucks will need big contributions from Connaughton moving forward.

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Particularly with his shooting, the guard could potentially be an x-factor off Milwaukee’s bench, and they will need him to stay solid in the second half.

BTBP All-Star Break Grade: B