Milwaukee Bucks: 3 goals for Donte DiVincenzo ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 22 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 22 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo, Indiana Pacers: Edmond Summer
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 22 (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Donte DiVincenzo playing point guard has potential, but the Milwaukee Bucks may need more than just potential moving forward

Playing around the trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton, it’s perfectly understandable that DiVincenzo’s role is often relegated to that of a catch-and-shoot bomber in the corners. But if he maintains his streaky shooting, more freedom within a broader offensive role could be key to unlocking his scoring potential next season.

When he’s not scoring, DiVincenzo should be able to contribute to the team in other ways. He already does this with his defense and hustle, but his offensive impact (or lack thereof) can be mitigated with how he handles and passes the rock to set up other teammates for success on that end. DiVincenzo has never been the best playmaker, but in each time he’s been given point guard duties, he responded gracefully. He’s a capable ball-handler in limited spurts and already a willing passer as it is. There’s a positive pattern in his production whenever his usage within the offense is upped, and the stats prove it.

It’s not a coincidence that Donte’s best game this season came when he started at point guard against the New Orleans Pelicans and his former mentor in Eric Bledsoe. With Jrue Holiday sidelined with injury, Donte, who already spent 52 percent of his minutes at the point guard position for the Bucks in his freshman season, excelled when he had the ball in his hands for a longer stretch whilst being more involved in the team’s offense. He finished that game with 24 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.

He never quite eclipsed those numbers again, but he also hardly saw that kind of usage rate and ball-handling opportunity again in the wake of Holiday’s return.

In truth, there has been a world of difference between his shooting guard minutes and the time he spends handling the ball at point. Per Cleaning the Glass, DiVincenzo had the highest offensive rating, effective field goal percentage, and points per shot attempt, when playing the point guard position with the Bucks.

According to, among starting guards with at least 50 games played, he is actually first in the league in assist percentage off drives, dishing the ball off to teammates for buckets 16.1 percent of the time when he slashes. He’s also second behind just Fred VanVleet on pass percentage off drives. This is despite being relatively middle-of-the-pack in this group with his meager 44.5 touches per game. As a result, he also averages just 4.2 drives per game, putting him in the bottom echelon of the league on those plays.

Given the small sample size playing the point—where he only spent 8 percent of his minutes this season—these numbers only really prove his potential more than anything else. Good things seem to happen for the Bucks when DiVincenzo has the ball in his hands and the freedom to try to score, and he certainly has an argument for more offensive autonomy at this point.

Does DiVincenzo need to be good enough to be the main point guard off the bench? With George Hill back in Wisconsin, probably not. But establishing himself in that role as more than just a tertiary playmaker can only help his cause.

Even regardless of what position he plays, an influx in reps just handling the ball for Donte could perhaps bode well for the Bucks and make them a more complete offensive unit moving forward.