3 looming questions regarding the Milwaukee Bucks’ bench brigade

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 01 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 01 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Jevon Carter, Washington Wizards: Ish Smith
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Will Jevon Carter and Serge Ibaka stay shelved for the Milwaukee Bucks despite showing promising signs since coming aboard?

With Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton, and George Hill, among others, coming back from extended absences recently, the Milwaukee Bucks are getting healthier. The process of reintegrating players back into the lineup has forced head coach Mike Budenholzer to make a few tough decisions with the rotation, several of which have been perplexing moves.

The first and most notable has been the decision to continue to give Hill significant minutes over Jevon Carter as the team’s backup point guard. Hill has had a lackluster season by all accounts in 2021-22, having put up some of the worst numbers in his career. Meanwhile, Carter has thrived since coming to Milwaukee, putting up the best numbers in his career. Yet, coach Budenholzer is still questionably giving the minutes to Hill as Carter has recently logged several DNPs. Sure, the Bucks added Carter to be a temporary fill-in for Hill while he was sidelined with injury, but he has played far better than Hill during his short time with the franchise.

The most significant reason why Carter should be the team’s primary backup point guard is that he has been a far better shooter than Hill. Carter has shot an astounding 61.1 percent from deep on 2.3 attempts per game since coming aboard, while Hill has hit a new career-low 31 percent of his triples on 2.5 attempts per game. Carter’s sweet shooting alone should have him ahead of Hill in the Bucks’ rotation, but he is also a better defender, which makes this all the more puzzling for the Bucks. When the postseason begins, the Bucks will need a player that can make 3-point shots and play robust defense, and Carter is the obvious choice between the two to get those minutes.

Serge Ibaka has also found himself on the sidelines alongside Carter frequently, as he has logged a handful of DNPs lately. This decision makes more sense than the Carter one because Lopez is back for the Bucks and they have focused on getting him reintegrated into the rotation. He has eaten a sizeable amount of the minutes at the center position alongside Portis, which has put Ibaka in an awkward position. It seems that he will be used more situationally than regularly. If the Bucks do meet up with a team like the Miami Heat or Philadelphia 76ers, Ibaka will likely see more time as he can match up against their household centers. That is just speculation, but considering that the team traded for Ibaka just months ago, they must have something in store for him ahead.

Next. 3 Milwaukee Bucks players who need a strong regular season finish. dark

Stay tuned to see if these questions will get answered as the Milwaukee Bucks prepare to defend their title in the coming weeks.