Milwaukee Bucks: 3 players with something to prove in 2021-22 season

Apr 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Portland Trail Blazers: Rodney Hood, Anthony Tolliver
Nov 21, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Entering the 2020-21 season, the Milwaukee Bucks had a handful of players and coaches that had something to prove.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was forced to prove that his decision to sign the supermax extension with the Bucks was a wise decision and that he could translate his regular-season success over into the postseason. Khris Middleton was once again tasked with proving that he could be the second-best player on a championship-caliber team. To round out the top three, head coach Mike Budenholzer would be put to the test in proving that he could adapt in the playoffs, all while rumors swirled all year that he was on the hot seat if the team failed to meet expectations under him yet again.

More from Bucks News

After a turbulent year, those three proved their doubters wrong as the Bucks were crowned world champions for the first time in 50 years, silencing all those who doubted what they were capable of doing.

Coming off their title-winning campaign, it is safe to say that the team does not have too many players with something to prove next season. They did that last year. Yet, there could be some interesting cases to a lesser degree that are worth noting before the season begins.

With that being said, here are three Bucks with something to prove throughout the upcoming 2021-22 NBA season.

Rodney Hood has something to prove with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021-22

Perhaps no signing made by the Bucks this past offseason has more mystery behind it than the addition of Rodney Hood. Inking Hood to a one-year deal worth the minimum, it was a low-risk move to make, but the success that ultimately comes from it will depend on which version of Hood that the Bucks get.

Early on in his career, Hood was a lethal scorer from wherever he was on the floor. Throughout the first six seasons of his career, Hood averaged double-digit scoring on five occasions, with the lone exception being his rookie season. That version of Hood would have undoubtedly been a massive addition to Milwaukee’s second unit, but unfortunately, the last two years have not been kind to the swingman as he has been bombarded with injuries.

He played in 21 games during the 2019-20 season before suffering a ruptured Achillies, which sidelined him for a significant amount of time. When he returned the following season, he never quite looked the same, and understandably so as he looked to regain his footing. He would be hit with injuries once again as he battled a hip injury and suffered a fractured hand this past season, clocking the worst statistical season of his career to date.

That would be why the Bucks got him on a cheap deal, as Hood is essentially just looking to prove his place in this league, and the defending champions can give him that chance. If healthy, Hood could regain some rhythm and return to his days as a prolific scorer on one of the best teams in the association and potentially get his career back on the right track. He will have to prove that he can stay healthy and show some resemblance that he can be the player he was before this recent string of unfortunate injuries.

This “prove it deal” is great for both parties, and time will tell if Hood can ultimately prove himself with the champs.