This isn’t to say that no one valued him, but he certainly wasn’t the most popular Buck, especially so after re-signing last offseason. But here we are. Connaughton had a great regular season, put together an even better playoff run, and was an invaluable member of the rotation in every playoff series. The Bucks don’t win the championship without Connaughton, that’s probably something everyone can agree with.
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After Donte DiVincenzo went down, Connaughton’s role as a floor spacer and rebounder as a guard-sized player became even more important. Some expected him to start in place of DiVincenzo, but he still played an incredibly vital role off the bench.
This season, Connaughton will be battling with the likes of Grayson Allen and Rodney Hood for minutes in the wing rotation off the bench.
Connaughton already has the trust of head coach Mike Budenholzer, so he has a leg up in that regard, but there are a few ways in which Connaughton can ensure his spot in the rotation.
I don’t think there’s a world where Connaughton is ever out of the rotation entirely, but there’s never a guarantee for minutes when the team brings in more players that play similar positions and roles. So if Connaughton wants to really beat out the competition, here are a few goals for him to achieve that would really solidify his spot.
Pat Connaughton can continue to improve his 3-point shooting in the 2021-22 season with Milwaukee Bucks
This was one of the most important developments during the Bucks’ championship run, as Connaughton shot nearly 39 percent from 3 in the playoffs, including over 44 percent in the Finals.
This was after shooting a career-high 37.1 percent on 3.9 attempts per game in the regular season. Prior to that, he shot 33.9 percent in his previous three seasons (2.7 attempts per game), but for some reason, he shot better in the playoffs — 35.4 percent (2.6 attempts) in his first two playoff runs with the Bucks.
Connaughton does a lot of things really well outside of scoring, primarily his defensive toughness and versatility as well as rebounding for his size, but the reason he was able to stay on the floor and help unlock some of those lineups with Giannis Antetokounmpo, we because he was hitting his triples.
Both Allen and Hood are better shooters than Connaughton, but the 28-year-old brings more to the table and is better in those areas than the two new acquisitions. If Connaughton can continue to hit triples at a 37 percent rate or higher (preferably higher!), then he’ll have no problem keeping his minutes the same.