The Milwaukee Bucks’ midseason additions are showing their importance

Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Matthews, Golden State Warriors: Klay Thompson
Mar 12, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

Wesley Matthews has carved out a legitimate role for himself with the Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks brought in an old friend back in December when they signed Wesley Matthews to a non-guaranteed deal to shore up their depth. The veteran journeyman played well enough that the Bucks eventually guaranteed his deal, and rightfully so, as Matthews has turned into a key rotational piece off the bench.

Matthews has primarily been utilized defensively against opposing forwards and guards, giving the Bucks another reputable defender. According to NBA.com/stats, the swingman has done his job to keep opponents in check, holding opposing forwards to 54-of-133 (40.6 percent) shooting from the field, including 9-of-33 (27.3 percent) from three, while the guards have shot 77-of-176 (43.8 percent), including 27-of-73 (37 percent) from the perimeter. When paired in various lineups with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and others, Matthews is oftentimes tasked with playing the “P.J. Tucker role,” which entails guarding the opposing team’s top scorer to make life difficult for them with his toughness and physicality. Having a player with that capability has been a sizeable boost for the Milwaukee Bucks and will continue to be just that.

The other side of the ball is where Matthews has primarily struggled since coming aboard, as the veteran has shot just 45-of-136 (33.1 percent) from 3-point range, which is a career-low. Known for his outside shooting, Matthews has been unable to establish a groove at all during his second stint in Milwaukee. Looking closer, it is clear to see why. Matthews has thrived in catch-and-shoot situations as he has shot 43-of-118 (36.4 percent) on those tries, but has struggled to connect on much of anything on his pull-up attempts, where he has shot just 2-of-18 (11.1 percent). If he can find any consistency with this outside shot, Matthews could potentially be a big X-factor for the Bucks, given what he would bring on both sides of the ball.

Matthews has shown promise lately as he has shot 9-of-18 (50 percent) from the perimeter over his last six appearances, but the Milwaukee Bucks will need him to do it consistently.

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

The veteran’s defense has been a welcoming addition to this team, but he still is searching for his rhythm from the outside.