The positives and negatives of the first 15 games for Milwaukee Bucks

Nov 16, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 16, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 18: (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Health has been a negative for the Milwaukee Bucks through 15 games

This is the clearest obstacle the Bucks are facing at the moment. They have yet to be fully healthy this season and have been missing Khris Middleton, Pat Connaughton, and Joe Ingles for the entire season so far.

On top of missing those three, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Grayson Allen have all missed some games as well. As a result, the Bucks’ offense has struggled a lot at times, and they are currently just 24th in the league in offensive rating while missing several of their key offensive pieces.

It’s good that the Bucks are 11-4 and remaining near the top of the East without several key players, but it would be ideal to see this team close to full health sooner rather than later. Luckily, this entire team outside of Joe Ingles and MarJon Beauchamp is the same as last year, so they shouldn’t have a hard time transitioning smoothly once those players return.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s shooting has been a negative for the Milwaukee Bucks through 15 games

Last year, Giannis really made some big strides as a mid-range shooter and free-throw shooter. He shot 41.5 percent on mid-range shots, the best percentage of his career, and 72.2 percent from the free throw line, his highest percentage since 2018.

So far this year, however, his shot has really struggled. He is shooting just 30.8 percent from mid-range and 23.9 percent from outside of the restricted area, compared to 36.9 percent last season. His three-point percentage is even lower than it normally is at 22.5 percent, and he seems to be having a hard time finding the overall touch that he had last season.

As bad as the jumpers have been, free throws are the biggest struggle for Giannis at the moment. His percentage from the line has dipped to 58.7 percent so far this season, and he has shot 43.2 percent over his last three games and 50 percent over his last five games. He has already missed seven or more free throws in more games this season than he did all of last season.

With how often he goes to the line, this percentage needs to get back up near 70 percent. We’ve seen him go through ups and downs at the line throughout his career, and hopefully, he can snap out of this cold spell quickly.

Offensive efficiency has been a negative for the Milwaukee Bucks through 15 games

As previously mentioned, the offense has struggled for the Bucks so far this year, and although it should get better once Milwaukee is fully healthy, it hasn’t been great to watch. The Bucks are 24th in offensive rating, 28th in field goal percentage, 23rd in three-point percentage, 25th in two-point percentage, 24th in effective field goal percentage, 27th in true shooting percentage, and 20th in turnovers.

Luckily the defense has kept them competitive and winning, and the Bucks should be fine in the long run. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on to see if it gets back to normal when players like Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton come back. Middleton’s injury has impacted their offense a lot, which we saw in the Celtics series last season, and everyone has a little more pressure on them and is forced to do a little more than they are used to doing.

Once the Bucks get fully healthy, it should help things flow smoother offensively and help everyone reach their maximum potential in their roles. Until then, it may be bumpy, and the defense will have to keep winning games for them.