The biggest reason for Jevon Carter’s rejuvenation with Milwaukee Bucks

Mar 19, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports /

In 12 games since he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks last month, Jevon Carter has exceeded expectations early as the guard has played the best basketball of his career.

Carter has carved out a legitimate role for himself off Milwaukee’s bench due to stellar defense, pristine passing, sensational scoring, and the most prominent opportunity of his career thus far. The guard has proven to be yet another hidden gem for the champs, but what is the main reason behind Carter’s rejuvenation with Milwaukee? Many could argue that the answer is his defense, which is feasible, but Carter’s outstanding shooting since joining the Bucks might take the cake as the most significant reason for his success.

How Jevon Carter’s fantastic 3-point shooting has helped him succeed with the Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks knew that Carter could defend at a high level when they signed him, given that he had earned his stripes in the league as a defensive ace. The bigger question mark revolved around his ability to contribute offensively, as Carter was putting up some of the worst numbers in his career before signing with the Bucks. In 46 games with the Brooklyn Nets this season, Carter averaged a subpar 3.6 points and shot 33.1 percent from behind the arc, both of which were new career lows. Since signing with Milwaukee, Carter has averaged 5.9 points while knocking down 56.7 percent of his shots from 3-point range, both of which are new career highs.

Carter has flipped the script offensively between his time with Brooklyn and Milwaukee this year, which has been an added boost along with his robust defense. While these numbers do not come in the largest sample size, as Carter has shot 17-of-30 from three with the Bucks, the point guard has instantly clicked in the system, which has helped his seamless transition. Mike Budenholzer is utilizing Carter nightly for his defense, but with the 26-year-old shooting it this well on top of that, he has earned a spot in this rotation.

Taking a closer look, Carter’s ability to capitalize on “wide-open” (categorized as six or more feet of space) looks from the perimeter has propelled his long-range success. During his Brooklyn tenure this season, he shot 23-of-61 on wide-open looks from 3-point range, a serviceable 37.7 percent. In Milwaukee, Carter has been a far more consistent threat with these wide-open attempts, going 12-of-21, 57.1 percent. Given just how much the Bucks emphasize outside shooting, this shooting from Carter has been a massive boost over the past month or so, especially with the team dealing with a handful of injuries in the second unit.

Along with capitalizing on these open looks, Carter’s ability to do so while being featured alongside the Bucks’ star-studded trio has factored into this success. In fact, nearly all of Carter’s production from long range has come while playing with Milwaukee’s Big 3, as the guard is shooting 6-of-8 off passes from Khris Middleton, 5-of-7 off passes from Giannis Antetokounmpo, and 2-of-5 off passes from Jrue Holiday. With so much attention being given to these three on the offensive end, Carter has found a groove from 3-point range, largely due to the endless wide-open looks. If he is capable of consistently knocking down these shots off passes from the Big 3 moving forward, his role in Milwaukee should only continue to grow more prominent.

Thus far, Carter has been an impactful two-way addition to this Milwaukee squad. His defense has helped tremendously, giving the team another intense individual that can take on top assignments nightly. Yet, his shooting has been an added boost on top of that as it has helped Carter earn hefty minutes alongside Antetokounmpo, Holiday, and Khris Middleton. This shooting has him averaging the best numbers in his career, and this could just be the start of something special in Milwaukee.

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The Milwaukee Bucks will certainly continue to encourage Carter to keep letting it fly from deep.