Milwaukee Bucks: Revisiting Pat Connaughton’s 2020-21 goals

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 07 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 07 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, P.J. Tucker, Pat Connaughton, Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 15 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Revisiting Pat Connaughton’s 2020-21 goals with the Milwaukee Bucks: No. 3 – Bring defensive versatility

One of the biggest things that has helped the Bucks become arguably the best defensive team in basketball is their versatility. Head coach Mike Budenholzer has helped make the most out of the defenders on this team, which has made Connaughton a favorite of his as he is essentially a jack of all trades player. Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 209 pounds, Connaughton has embraced playing multiple positions for the Bucks on defense, but it was something he could still improve.

Well, Budenholzer certainly got the most out of Connaughton during the season. In 2020-21, as the Bucks experimented with lineups, Budenholzer utilized Connaughton at a variety of different positions to test things out. Interestingly enough, the swingman played just 36 percent of his minutes at the shooting guard during the regular season, a new career low. Instead, he played 60 percent of his minutes as a small forward and three percent as a power forward, both of which were career-highs.

One of the key instances where this versatility from Connaughton proved crucial was when the Bucks ran with their small-ball lineups. With Giannis Antetokounmpo at center, Connaughton could play either forward spot and hold his own. This was crucial in Milwaukee’s playoff bouts with the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns, as having Connaughton gave them a trusty player that would step up to the task of guarding players much bigger than him. With that being said, he undeniably brought some defensive versatility to the mix.

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Time will tell if Connaughton can deliver an encore next season as the Bucks look to repeat as NBA champions and shock the world once more.