The pros and cons of the Milwaukee Bucks starting Wesley Matthews

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 29 (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 29 (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Grayson Allen
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 30 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

In consecutive prime-time matchups this week, the Milwaukee Bucks made a lineup change that saw Wesley Matthews placed in the starting five. The decision sent Grayson Allen to the bench as the Bucks opted to switch things up, and the change ultimately worked as they managed to notch two victories against the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. Given the success Milwaukee had with this lineup change, perhaps coach Mike Budenholzer will decide to keep it that way moving forward to finish the regular season and into the postseason. Let us look at the pros and cons of a permanent lineup change for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The cons of the Milwaukee Bucks starting Wesley Matthews

First and foremost, Allen has thrived as a full-time starter with the Bucks this season by averaging new career-highs in several statistical categories. The two-guard has played the best basketball of his career this season because of how he fits alongside the other starters. Per, the 26-year-old has the fifth-most wide-open 3-point makes in the NBA this season with 114 and is shooting 43.7 percent on such looks. He gets that many looks because he is playing alongside the other starters like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton, and demoting him to the bench could throw him off.

Allen has struggled in his three games coming off the bench this season, as he has averaged just 6.7 points while shooting 41.2 percent from the floor and a mere 28.6 percent from long distance. Given how well Allen has played as a starter this season – 11.3 points while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from downtown – the Bucks may not want to disrupt the shooter’s rhythm by sending him to the bench full-time. While coming off the bench would not eradicate his minutes alongside the other starters entirely, it would certainly lessen. With the playoffs nearing, changing his role this late in the season could be a risk as it would shake things up drastically.

Matthews does not provide the same level of 3-point shooting that Allen does, as he is shooting a mere 33.8 percent from deep this season. Though the Bucks would primarily rely on Matthews for his defensive intensity, his subpar 3-point shooting could become problematic. This team needs a reliable threat out on the perimeter for the starters, and Matthews just has not been that for most of the season, while Allen has. Matthews has been streaky at times, but consistency has been one of his biggest struggles on the offensive end since coming aboard.