Wesley Matthews has found a shooting groove with Milwaukee Bucks

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 19 (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 19 (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Since signing with the Milwaukee Bucks in December, Wesley Matthews’ role with the team has continued to grow. Like everywhere else throughout his 12-year NBA career, the 35-year-old has been utilized as a 3-and-D wing with Milwaukee this season, letting it fly from distance while also taking on top-notch assignments defensively. However, over these past two months, the veteran may as well have dropped the “3” portion of his role, as he has not had any consistency with it.

The swingman shot a grueling 4-of-23 (17.4 percent) from behind the arc in February, and he got off to yet another poor start in March by shooting 2-of-15 (13.3 percent) throughout Milwaukee’s first five games of the month. It looked like Matthews was bound to have yet another poor month with his shooting, but the veteran has shown some improved play from the perimeter over his last three contests, which has provided some optimism that his slump has concluded.

Looking at Wesley Matthews’ much-improved perimeter shooting over the Milwaukee Bucks’ last three games

In his last three games, Matthews is shooting an incredibly efficient 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) from 3-point range, which has undoubtedly caught some attention. His seven 3-point makes are more than he had in the previous five games this month prior to this run and the entirety of last month combined, which is a welcoming sight, showing just how poorly the marksman had been shooting the long ball lately.

Matthews had two makes in three tries in back-to-back games against the Utah Jazz and the Sacramento Kings, followed by a 3-of-5 outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Looking back, the last time Matthews had a three-game stretch where he had multiple 3-point makes was back between January 5 through January 13, where he did so in five straight contests before this pesky slump initially started.

The biggest reason for this recent rejuvenation from Matthews has been his ability to capitalize on open looks. According to NBA.com/stats, the veteran has shot 5-of-7 on wide-open (71.4 percent) 3-point looks in these last three games. Playing alongside NBA stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton, Matthews oftentimes finds himself open on the perimeter, and he has made opposing defenses pay lately with his stellar shooting.

This sweet shooting from Matthews has given the Bucks some solid scoring help off the bench in his last three appearances, with the veteran tallying six, eight, and nine points. Bench scoring has been a significant issue for the Bucks all season long, so the scoring contributions from Matthews have been a big boost. His scoring totals may not seem like a lot on the surface, but looking back, Matthews had eclipsed five points in just two of his last 21 appearances prior to this hot stretch.

Although it comes in a small sample size of just three games, hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Matthews down the stretch, as the Milwaukee Bucks will need him. If Matthews can be this reliable from 3-point range while also playing robust defense against household names on a nightly basis, he could be an X-factor for the defending champions.

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Stay tuned to find out whether or not Matthews can continue shooting the lights out, as it would be a tremendous boost for the Milwaukee Bucks.