Jordan Nwora must seize this upcoming opportunity with Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 22 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 22 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have struggled to get consistent production out of their bench throughout the entire 2021-22 season. The champs are 29th in points, 29th in assists, and 25th in rebounds per game this year, which has certainly hindered their success to some degree.

Milwaukee’s bench was struggling before, but now they find themselves in an even more difficult predicament with two key players sidelined with injuries. George Hill has been out of the lineup as he deals with neck soreness, leaving the Bucks without a backup ball-handler. Pat Connaughton is set to join Hill on the sidelines after he fractured his right fourth metacarpal in the third quarter of Thursday’s ugly loss to the Phoenix Suns.

With their two leading bench scorers out of the lineup, the Bucks will have to turn elsewhere for reserve production. It will not be coming from Donte DiVincenzo, Rodney Hood, or Semi Ojeleye, who were all traded on the day of the deadline. With Hill and Connaughton sidelined and this trio gone, the Bucks are thin in the second unit. Due to this, one player that has a golden opportunity to step up is Jordan Nwora.

Jordan Nwora must step up for the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks

Nwora has been in and out of the rotation in what has been an incredibly frustrating year for the sophomore forward. The 23-year-old has all the potential in the world to be a special player, but he has failed to show it consistently. When he has been fortunate enough to play, Nwora’s play has been either fantastic or abysmal, rarely in between. There have been more bad nights than good ones, with the forward having his share of defensive lapses, poor shot selection, and just overall growing pains that are typically expected from a former second round pick.

This inconsistent play has kept Nwora out of the rotation lately, but these injuries and absences to Milwaukee’s regulars will force him back into the lineup. This was precisely the case in Thursday’s loss to the Suns, where he scored just two points on 1-of-7 shooting, including 0-of-4 from three while tallying three personal fouls and a turnover in just under 15 minutes played. Those numbers would typically not bode well for Nwora’s chances to stick in the rotation, but right now, they will need his services desperately with little to no other options to rely on.

Nwora can make his mark by providing a much-needed scoring boost off the bench for the Bucks, primarily from deep. If he can check in and space the floor in lineups with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, or Khris Middleton, it would be a significant lift. The Bucks will not be asking Nwora to carry the load offensively, but just be a sparkplug off the bench to keep them afloat with two of their key pieces out of the Milwaukee Bucks’ lineup for the foreseeable future.

While his scoring will undoubtedly be crucial, Nwora must also show improvement in the other areas of his game as well. His defense, passing, and ball-handling have all been hit or miss this season, and the young forward must prove that he get a handle on those aspects of his game. If Nwora will ever be a consistent part of the Bucks’ rotation, development in these areas is crucial.

Some said that Nwora should have been traded before the deadline due to his minimal role and struggles, but this is an opportunity for him to prove them wrong.

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Hopefully this could be a turning point for the 23-year-old.