The Milwaukee Bucks’ bench failed to contribute, a trend that has become all too common lately
As the Bucks navigate through injuries and illnesses, they have had to rely heavily on their depth, which has not worked out in their favor. Milwaukee’s reserves contributed a measly 16 points on a grueling 5-of-19 shooting while chipping in five turnovers last night. That is not a typo. The bench tallied just as many made field goals as they did turnovers against the Raptors.
Donte DiVincenzo paved the way for this woeful performance from the second unit by scoring just three points on 1-of-5 shooting, with three of the misses coming from deep. As usual, DiVincenzo struggled to find a rhythm offensively, and it did not help that he notched three of the turnovers by himself due to bone-headed decision-making. Despite his poor play offensively, the guard did have a few promising glimpses defensively, including an impressive block. However, his struggles continue to hinder the Bucks on a nightly basis and raise questions about his future with the trade deadline nearing.
Another Buck that has frustrated fans lately is Jordan Nwora, and he was seemingly put in coach Mike Budenholzer’s doghouse last night. After playing just over four-and-a-half minutes, Nwora was yanked from the game due to several slip-ups defensively, which has always been his most prominent weakness. Despite playing less than five minutes, the forward finished the game with a single-game +/- of -13, the worst on the Bucks. These games where the Bucks are shorthanded were viewed as the perfect opportunity for Nwora to shine, but it looks like he could now be benched for the foreseeable future after his effort last night.
The three other reserves to see time were George Hill, Pat Connaughton, and Rodney Hood. While Hill knocked down a pair of big triples in the second half to keep the game close, he played subpar throughout the game as a whole by chipping in eight points on 3-of-9 shooting. With the deadline coming up, the Bucks may want to explore their options at the backup point guard position. Hood struggled to contribute as he missed both of his shot attempts, while Connaughton knocked down one of his three attempts. After starting the season red-hot, Connaughton has quieted down as of late, part of which could be attributed to DiVincenzo’s return to the lineup. Given how important he has proven to be, they desperately need him to get back on track.
Although getting healthy could solve the problems surrounding Milwaukee’s bench, they have no excuse to perform this poorly on a nightly basis. With the trade deadline coming up, perhaps they could look to bring in some reinforcements.