3 potential starting lineup options for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2022-23

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: Wesley Matthews
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 26 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Having lineup versatility has been a crucial attribute for the Milwaukee Bucks in recent memory.

Coach Mike Budenholzer has never been afraid to shake up his lineups and rotations from time to time, and that will certainly not stop this coming season. With the Bucks making several moves in the offseason through the draft and free agency, there are a few new players in the fold that will give Budenholzer even more versatility next season, especially when looking at options for the starting lineup. With that being said, let us look at three potential starting lineup combinations the Milwaukee Bucks may use on opening night of the 2022-23 NBA season.

Starting lineup option No. 1 for the Milwaukee Bucks – Holiday, Matthews, Middleton, G. Antetokounmpo, Lopez

This was the starting lineup that the Milwaukee Bucks utilized down the stretch of the 2021-22 regular season and into the NBA Playoffs. Coach Mike Budenholzer swapped out Grayson Allen in favor of the more experienced Wesley Matthews, and although the Bucks did not ultimately get to use this particular lineup much due to Khris Middleton’s MCL sprain, it had potential when all five members were able to play together.

The decision to put Matthews in the starting five was a defensive-minded one from Budenholzer. The seasoned veteran brought more defensive intensity into than mix than Allen did alongside his fellow starters, which was useful throughout Milwaukee’s 12-game playoff run. Matthews would often draw the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s top scorer, which alleviated pressure from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and others. When everyone is healthy, this lineup can be dangerous on the defensive end due to the tenacious defense they all possess.

Offensively, Matthews was not tasked with doing much alongside the starters aside from occasionally letting it fly from 3-point range. He was solid in that regard during the postseason as he buried an efficient 40 percent of his 3-pointers, so he fits well on that side of the court when that outside shot is indeed falling. With gifted playmakers like Antetokounmpo and Holiday both on the court, a 3-point shooter like Matthews thrives off the sheer amount of great open looks he can receive nightly.

While Matthews is a snug fit in this hypothetical starting five, it is not too likely that this is the one Budenholzer goes with on opening night next season. Nearing 36-years-old, it is not controversial to say that Matthews does not have the legs he did when he was 26. Though he still has plenty to give on the basketball court, the Bucks will likely look to keep Matthews fresh throughout the year to keep him fresh for the postseason, just like they did last season. The veteran will likely start the year in a bench role, but this could possibly end up being a starting lineup at some point.