3 lessons the Milwaukee Bucks can use from last postseason this year

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 20 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Pat Connaughton, Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul
Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Lesson No. 3 – Next man up must be ready for the Milwaukee Bucks during the playoffs

While playoff rotations may be shortened, last season was a prime example of why depth is still important when that time of the year comes around.

Milwaukee lost Donte DiVincenzo to an injury during the first round against Miami. The injury gave more opportunities to guys who would have had lesser roles had the injury not occurred.

Pat Connaughton was thrown out of the nest and he learned how to fly. What may not have been too thrilling of an idea to Bucks fans at first quickly became one of the biggest turnarounds in the way Milwaukee’s fan base perceives a player in recent memory.

Fresh off of a disappointing performance in the bubble, Connaughton and the contract that he signed was not on good terms with the fans. Connaughton would end up producing at such a high level that fans now are under the belief that Connaughton’s contract is a steal.

Connaughton’s biggest contributions came during the NBA Finals, where he was second on the team in made 3-point field goals with 15. The one that might come to mind is the three that he drilled towards the end of Game 4, one that warranted a Mike Breen “BANG!” call.

After delivering in crucial spots during the playoffs last season, the way Bucks fans view Connaughton has completely flipped. It’s amazing that 12 months ago, his contract would’ve been viewed as a bad contract.

The other player that had to step up for Milwaukee following DiVincenzo’s injury was P.J. Tucker. Tucker was going to have a big role anyway, but he was the player that got moved into the starting lineup in place of DiVincenzo, who went down in round one with a season-ending ankle injury.

Tucker’s greatest sacrifice in Milwaukee was being the guy who had the assignment of Kevin Durant in the Brooklyn Nets series. Per NBA.com/stats, Tucker spent over 70 minutes guarding Durant, by far the most of any player in the series. When guarded by Tucker, Durant shot 36-of-77 from the field (46.8 percent) and 8-of-24 from downtown (33.3 percent). For as ridiculously on fire Durant was during that series, those numbers actually look great.

Next. Ranking 5 potential first round opponents for the Milwaukee Bucks. dark

As fans, we should hope that we are not in a position health-wise where players have to step into those roles. However, the Milwaukee Bucks can use the lesson learned from last year to always be ready if a scenario like that occurs.