Milwaukee Bucks: Grading Wesley Matthews’ season at the All-Star break

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 05 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Many were justifiably surprised when the Milwaukee Bucks brought Wesley Matthews aboard on a non-guaranteed deal mid-season. Yet, despite how sudden it was, the move made sense for the Bucks, given that they needed another rotational guard as they awaited Donte DiVincenzo’s return to action as he rehabbed his ankle. Before the signing, Matthews was reportedly holding out hope that he would get a shot with the Bucks this season, and his wish was granted in December due to Milwaukee’s need for more rotational pieces.

Grading Wesley Matthews’ season with the Milwaukee Bucks at the 2022 NBA All-Star break

When the Bucks signed Matthews in December, they never envisioned him playing a sizeable role. Unlike Matthews’ first stint with the franchise in 2019-20 – where he was a full-time starter – the veteran would primarily come off the bench this time around. Playing a minimized role, Matthews has seen the fewest minutes in his career this season at 19.2 per game, and his numbers follow a similar path. Through 30 appearances, including six starts, the 12-year NBA veteran has averaged 4.9 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game.

Known for his robust 3-point shooting, the Bucks would rely on Matthews to knock down outside shots occasionally above all else. At the All-Star break, the guard has knocked down 34 percent of his triples on 3.2 attempts per game, which would be the second-worst mark of his career, trailing only last season’s 33.5 percent with the Los Angeles Lakers. Matthews’ outside shooting numbers have gotten worse with each passing month, shooting 48.1 percent in December, 32.1 percent in January, and a gruesome 17.6 percent thus far in February. Obviously, this has been a huge issue for the Bucks, given how much the defending champions rely on 3-point shooting.

Defensively, Matthews has been serviceable for the Bucks, giving them another versatile piece to utilize that can guard various different positions. According to, the guard has held his opponents to 92-of-25 (44.9 percent) field goal shooting, including 25-of-69 (36.2 percent) on 3-point attempts. His consistent tenacity on that side of the basketball has been a welcoming boost for the Bucks, particularly in big-time matchups. Looking at some of Matthews’ matchups, he has a few notable performances, including holding Devin Booker to 1-of-6 field goal shooting, Gordon Hayward to 2-of-7, and Kevin Durant to 3-of-7. With the Bucks losing P.J. Tucker during the offseason, Matthews has done his part to give Milwaukee another strong defensive piece.

Overall, Matthews has been fine in his second stint with the Bucks thus far. The biggest thing he must focus on moving forward is his 3-point shooting. Considering he is a 37.8 percent shooter from 3-point range for his career, Matthews certainly has it in him to be better than what he is displaying right now. Matthews will be out on the floor in pivotal moments due to his defensive presence, but if he cannot be trusted to knock down open shots, it will be tough to rely on him.

Hopefully the All-Star break gives the 35-year-old a chance to recharge, as the Bucks will need more from him upon returning. With Pat Connaughton sidelined for the next several weeks and George Hill currently dealing with a neck issue, Milwaukee’s bench is thinned out, and a piece like Matthews could make a massive difference for the time being. He will be asked to step up, and it will be interesting to see if he is up for the challenge.

BTBP All-Star Break Grade: C

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The Milwaukee Bucks clearly believe in Wesley Matthews as they guaranteed his contract for the remainder of the season, and he must prove them right.