Milwaukee Bucks: Predicting 2021-22 starting five, sixth man, and closers

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton
MIAMI, FL – MAY 29 (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Predicting the sixth man role for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021-22

There are so many options to fill this role for the Bucks, and I don’t think you can necessarily pick a bad one out of the group, which consists of Portis, Allen, Connaughton, and George Hill.

It obviously isn’t feasible to have four players as the first guy off the bench, so which one will get that assignment most often? Also, no disrespect to Ojeleye or Rodney Hood. They’ll both be in the rotation, just likely not at the top of bench rotation.

We can eliminate one of Allen or Connaughton as one of them will likely be starting, let’s just say Allen, for the sake of this argument. That leaves three players who all have experience coming off the bench with Budenholzer’s Bucks. Two of the three have received Sixth Man of the Year votes in the past, with Portis finishing ninth last year and Hill tied for fourth in 2019-20.

However, Connaughton played the most minutes of any Buck that wasn’t one of the five starters in two of the last three seasons, with Hill beating him out in 2019-20. He has been the de facto sixth man or first player off the bench under Budenholzer, and if that’s how we want to define the sixth man, then it will likely be him again.

However, it would not surprise me to see Portis take over the “most minutes from a reserve” label from Connaughton and receive some Sixth Man of the Year votes once again. First of all, I think Hill won’t have as large of a role as he did in the past due to age and that Holiday is trusted more than the previous starting point guard that Hill played behind. Second, there’s more opportunity for Portis with him being the lone true big man off the bench, as Ojeleye won’t cut into his minutes much.

There’s a lot of depth on this Bucks bench, and it’s a good problem to have more than one player who can be trusted as a reserve.

Projected Opening Night Sixth Man: Bobby Portis