Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo’s cold spell comes with awful timing

Donte DiVincenzo’s 2020-21 season with the Milwaukee Bucks has been filled with inconsistent play after being promoted into the starting lineup full time.

The 24-year-old has flashed signs of potential amidst the growing pains that come with being a young starter on a championship-caliber team but nothing remotely consistent. The biggest example of this has been the guard’s 3-point shot as he has cooled down substantially after starting the year off shooting the lights out.

This stagnant shooting has specifically been evident in the team’s recent stretch of games as DiVincenzo has been virtually unplayable offensively.

Specifically, the third-year guard has failed to find a groove throughout his past nine contests by averaging just 6.2 points per game while shooting 33.8 percent from the floor and an abysmal 24.3 percent from long range. This shooting slump was highlighted by his minimal efforts in Milwaukee’s nailbiting 117-114 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday where DiVincenzo failed to score after shooting 0-5 from the floor in over 30 minutes of action.

Although DiVincenzo’s inconsistent stretches have come and gone throughout this season, it is seemingly safe to say that this most recent run is his most worrisome yet. Due to the timing at this point in the season, these struggles from the young guard could soon spell doom for the Bucks if they persist.

Donte DiVincenzo’s struggles loom large for the Milwaukee Bucks with the playoffs nearing

With just eight regular season games left to play on the schedule, DiVincenzo does not have much time to establish a rhythm for himself. It is certainly possible that the guard could heat up and close the season strong, but has he shown relatively any optimism in that regard? Hardly, if any.

If his struggles continue throughout this final stretch and carry over into the postseason, the Bucks will be in trouble. These disappearing acts on the offensive end are a significant issue currently looming over the team and it will be an issue highlighted further in the playoffs if they do prevail.

DiVincenzo’s starting role on this team does not solely revolve around his scoring ability. He has flashed signs of being a better defender, rebounder, and playmaker with his increased opportunity this season and has certainly made his presence felt on the floor most nights in ways that go beyond his scoring. However, that ability to put the ball in the basket in addition to everything else he does on the floor could make DiVincenzo the biggest X-factor for this team in the playoffs.

With all of the attention on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday, DiVincenzo’s contributions take things up a notch when his shot is dropping. That is particularly the case with his shooting from behind the arc where we have seen him catch fire in a hurry on multiple occasions this season. Instead, DiVincenzo’s recent woes have turned him into a liability offensively as his minimal contributions hurting the Bucks tremendously.

It will be tough for the Bucks to make a strong push through the loaded Eastern Conference and eventually to the NBA Finals if their starting two-guard struggles to this magnitude on the big stage. As the clock ticks with just eight games left to play until the postseason, the odds of DiVincenzo flipping the switch and finding a rhythm are stacked against him.

Still, if he will defy the odds, it starts with staying locked in and maintaining an aggressive approach with the basketball.