Milwaukee Bucks: Who will be the most important reserve next season?

MIAMI, FL - MAY 29 (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - MAY 29 (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Pat Connaughton
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 01: (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The case for Pat Connaughton as the Milwaukee Bucks’ most important bench player

Prior to last season, who would have thought we’d be talking about Connaughton as the Bucks’ most important player off the bench? But here we are!

Unlike Portis, Connaughton played in every game and played 20 or more minutes in 16 of his 23 games played (Portis only had five such games). His shooting, ability to guard multiple positions, and rebounding made him Mike Budenholzer’s most trusted option off the bench.

The 28-year-old was one of the only Bucks players to shoot better from 3 in the playoffs than in the regular season, as he shot 38.9 percent from deep in the postseason (4.1 attempts) compared to 37.1 in the regular season (3.9 attempts).

He filled in very well for Donte DiVincenzo’s role as a rebounding guard who could guard a couple of positions. Although he was routinely targeted on defense by the likes of Kevin Durant, Trae Young, and Chris Paul, Connaughton held his own well enough to help unlock the Bucks’ small ball, switch-everything lineups.

There is a bit more competition than just DiVincenzo for wing rotation minutes this year, however. So while Connaughton’s spot is secure for now, if he doesn’t shoot like he did in the playoffs, his rotation spot could be in jeopardy.