Jordan Nwora is knocking on the door of the Milwaukee Bucks rotation

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 22: J(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 22: J(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

As a rule, it’s never smart to make sweeping generalizations about a team in the first 20 or so games of a season. The Milwaukee Bucks are a prime example of that as 20 games into the season, they were only four games over 0.500 and weren’t themselves.

There were many factors for this, primarily injuries and illnesses, but the same can be said for a player. Especially so for a young player who is trying to break into the rotation for a title contender.

Jordan Nwora got off to a horrid start to begin the season and he was given ample chances, due to those aforementioned injuries and illnesses, to grab hold of a rotation spot. He was then yanked out of the rotation and it appeared as though we’d seen the last of his chances to be a regular rotation player for the 2021-22 Milwaukee Bucks. However, after a recent stretch of very strong games, it’s time to re-think that.

Should Jordan Nwora be back in the Milwaukee Bucks’ regular rotation?

To articulate how poorly Nwora played to begin the season, in his first 23 games, he averaged 6.4 points on 49.1 percent true shooting and a 47.2 percent effective field goal rate. It was on the heels of a strong preseason performance and had fans thinking he could make a push for a spot in the rotation.

That didn’t happen and he was firmly in head coach Mike Budenholzer’s doghouse. It was an unfortunate sight as most Bucks fans assumed there would be a role for Nwora to play this season, especially when the other players he was competing for minutes with getting hurt.

His poor play, combined with poor play from Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye, led to the Bucks signing Wesley Matthews who has since taken the reserve wing role and ran with it.

But Nwora has something to say about all that.

Coming into last night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Nwora averaged over 16 points on nearly 53 percent true shooting and a 52 percent effective field goal rate. The efficiency isn’t great, but it’s good to simply see him scoring and looking confident again. That was on display at its best when he sent Armoni Brooks to the deck with a nasty dribble move and then mocked him afterward. That’s the confident Nwora we all want to see.

Nwora then put on a show against the Pelicans, scoring 23 points on over 100 percent true shooting (I love those). Aside from a slight dip against the Dallas Mavericks where he scored six points in nearly 28 minutes of action (although he did snag eight rebounds, more on that in a moment), he has five games of 14 or more points in his last six.

One of the primary sources of frustration, when Nwora was struggling, was that he wasn’t impacting the game enough in other ways. His shot wasn’t falling and there just wasn’t much else he was doing, averaging three rebounds in his first 23 games.

Nwora is averaging over eight rebounds and more than a steal per game in his last six games, which has been one of the biggest signs of encouragement of this short stretch.

The shot-creation flashes are always going to be there, even when he’s struggling. That’s his biggest strength and the biggest reason why I’m excited for him to be a future role player for this team.

However, the biggest keys for him (and the coaching staff) will be to get those flashes to come within the flow of the offense and the rotation. He has the green light to fire away in games like these last six, where they needed his offense with players out. But when the Bucks are whole, there will be players ahead of him in the pecking order, so doing things like rebound, get into passing lanes, and protect the rim will help keep him on the court.

Next. 2022 New Year’s resolution for every player on the Milwaukee Bucks. dark

Nwora may have a couple more games ahead of him to make an impact with Khris Middleton and Donte DiVincenzo potentially missing multiple games, so the opportunity is once again there for the sophomore to take advantage.