Analyzing Pat Connaughton’s role in the Milwaukee Bucks rotation this season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 04: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Pat Connaughton had himself a career year in the 2021-2022 season for the Milwaukee Bucks which has resulted in a new 3 year, $30 million contract for the 29 year old. Connaughton has spent the last 4 years in Milwaukee and has grown into a great role player who fans have come to love.

Let’s have a look at the role No. 24 could have this coming season for the Bucks.

It’s no secret that Pat Connaughton has been a player who has grown year to year into his role on this Milwaukee Bucks roster. He has become one of, if not the most important players on the Bucks bench, maybe only behind Bobby Portis in terms of importance.

Connaughton was rewarded with a career-high in minutes (26 per game) this season and repaid the faith shown in him by the coaching team by averaging a career-high 9.9 points per game. In doing so, he shot a solid 39.5 percent from three.

Along with his shooting, Connaughton averaged a respectable 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Whilst these aren’t classed as the best and biggest numbers in the league, they are solid numbers for a role player and good enough for the Bucks to be able to rely on him to help the team when he is on the court.

He’s also a reliable defender who knows how to make a nuisance of himself and get under the skin of opponents and will not give up on a play which is appreciated by fans and coaches alike.

Whilst he may not be seen as a game changer, the hustle and effort Connaughton shows while wearing a Milwaukee Bucks jersey can’t be underestimated and is a huge part of his play. It’s why he has had a prominent role from the bench over the last couple of seasons and it’s why he will be pushing for more minutes this season, maybe even a starting role?

I’ve mentioned a starting role for Pat. I’m aware people will read that and probably wonder if I’m out of my mind. I don’t see why he can’t slot in to the starting 5 and take Grayson Allen’s position at shooting guard. Pat can shoot the three, he can get to the rim and he can assist his teammates all the same. Now that’s not saying Grayson had a poor season, but competition isn’t a bad thing in professional sport. Iron sharpens iron.

Connaughton could start at shooting guard, but there would be no issues with him also slotting in elsewhere on the court and assisting in the rotation as he has in previous seasons. Realistically, I think this is the more likely outcome. Pat is a Swiss Army Knife type of player. He can play a variety of positions which helps the team hugely and can only help Coach Budenholzer. Playing in this role recently is what has earned Pat the recognition and appreciation from fans.

Having a player like Pat on the bench is  huge when it comes to giving our big three a rest, especially in close games through the regular season and into the playoffs. Pat Connaughton started a career high 19 games last season and operated as the Bucks primary sixth man with Bobby Portis in the starting lineup.

Regardless of where Pat plays in the rotation, I think we can all agree that he is deserving of his contract and that he will be an important piece of the Bucks roster this coming season.

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