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, Houston Rockets: D.J. Augustin
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MAY 07 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

More than anything else, Donte DiVincenzo should strive to be himself—and the best version of himself for the Milwaukee Bucks

None of this is to highlight DiVincenzo’s limitations as a basketball player with the Bucks. After all, even despite all his limitations, the 24-year-old is a winning player who manages to find a way to positively impact games night in and night out.

Bucks fans should know that with Donte’s effect on the floor as it stands, everything else should be a bonus. This version of Donte is already an elite, disruptive presence who throws a proverbial wrench into offensive schemes just by being there. The swiss army knife guard plays like a young Jrue Holiday at times, which is why having a backcourt with those two players has been such a luxury for the defending champions.

Here’s a look at what the stats say. For the entire season starting Donte at shooting guard, the Bucks outscored opponents by a net +8.1 whenever DiVincenzo was on the floor. Although this number may be inflated by his time spent next to the trio, this was also the third-highest net rating by a Bucks player after Antetokounmpo and Holiday.

It’s been said over and over again: Donte is sniffing elite status as a defender and rebounder if he isn’t already there. His 109.1 points conceded per 100 possessions is eighth in the NBA among starting guards with at least 60 games played, while his 4.5 offensive rebounding percentage puts him in the 85th percentile among other players in his position.

Hustle is the name of the game for the 24-year-old, and in a supporting cast already sporting a litany of other explosive pests like Pat Connaughton, P.J. Tucker, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, DiVincenzo still managed to stand out in that role. Per, DiVincenzo finished this season tenth in the league in total loose balls recovered, while also having a solid impact in charges drawn and deflections.

He kept this volatile aspect of his game heading into the playoffs, too. Before he went down with an injury, he held Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro to 33.3 percent shooting apiece, while none of Trevor Ariza, Goran Dragic, and Duncan Robinson could convert on any of their shots when Donte was the closest defender.

For a Milwaukee Bucks team whose emergent identity is predicated on hustle and intangibles, a player with this kind of intangible impact on the basketball court objectively cannot be “the worst starting shooting guard” in the National Basketball Association, even with the impediments so acutely evident in his overall game.

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This is why more than anything else, DiVincenzo should look to be the best version of himself as the year progresses.