Grading each Milwaukee Bucks player so far this season

Oct 29, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

It has been a season of ups and downs for the Milwaukee Bucks, as they started the season 9-0 but are just 13-9 since. Still, they find themselves with the best record in the NBA as we near the end of the calendar year.

There have been plenty of injuries giving different players more opportunities to play significant minutes. Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles have missed most of the season, Pat Connaughton missed the first month, and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday have missed some games as well. Below are grades for every player so far this season.

Note: The following is based on each player’s expectations coming into the season and how they’ve performed compared to that. A better grade does not always mean that the player has performed better overall.

Only includes players playing 10+ minutes per game and does not include Joe Ingles, who has played in only two games. Players are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Grayson Allen: B+

Grayson Allen has been the Buck linked to the most potential trades ever since last season ended. Many still want him traded, and he very well could be, but he continues to be the Bucks’ most reliable shooter at 41 percent from three and has shown improvement on defense and off the dribble. He still will have some ugly games, but overall has been an impactful player for Milwaukee this season and is showing signs of being a better playoff guy.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: A-

Most players averaging 34.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per 36 minutes would automatically get an A+, but I’m holding Giannis to a very high standard here. He went through a poor couple of weeks in November, where he shot just 42 percent from the field, 16 percent from three, and 55 percent from the free throw line. His overall shooting from outside the paint has been very poor at 29.8 percent, and his overall efficiency is down a bit compared to the past few years with 59 percent true shooting and 56 percent effective field goals, but that can largely be attributed to his league-high usage rate of 38.7 percent. Giannis is still Giannis, and he is one of the top MVP candidates once again.

MarJon Beauchamp: A-

It was difficult to know what to expect out of Beauchamp coming into the year. He was going to have a role early on due to the injuries, but it was unsure how big that role would be and how he would perform as a rookie. He has certainly been a pleasant surprise right away, playing good defense and decent shooting. The three-point shot has been streaky and inconsistent, as expected, but he has shown the ability to get hot that very few expected out of him right away as a rookie. Beauchamp looking like a rotation player in his rookie season, is a big plus.

Jevon Carter: B+

Jevon has been awesome ever since joining the Bucks in the middle of last season, and Bucks fans still wish he was given more of an opportunity in the playoffs. He has taken on a much larger role so far this year with the injuries, averaging over 25 minutes per game, and he has continued to be really solid. His offensive efficiency can be bad on plenty of nights, and he still needs to improve his decision-making in transition, but his rock-solid defense and 40 percent three-point shooting continues to show that he should be a rotation player in the playoffs.

Pat Connaughton: C-*

Adding an asterisk to the players who are coming back from injury since they shouldn’t be totally judged on their play in the first few weeks back, but Connaughton has struggled since returning. He failed to shoot over 33 percent from three in any of his first 12 games, but he has started to heat up lately and is 6-for-11 from three in his last three games. It hasn’t been good so far, but give Pat some time.

George Hill: C

After a poor performance in the playoffs from Hill last season, many were looking forward to the potential of Jevon Carter finally getting an opportunity over him this year. Hill hasn’t been anywhere close to the player he was in 2019 with the Bucks, but he also hasn’t been as bad as he was late last season. He still just doesn’t look like someone who can make a very big impact for the Bucks anymore, and it appears he is starting to lose the 20-ish minutes per game he had.

Jrue Holiday: A-

Jrue Holiday has been the same Jrue Holiday. He is awesome defensively and inconsistent offensively, but overall, he is still very good and making a huge impact while he’s on the court. He started the season shooting just 31.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three in his first four games, but in the month of December, he is averaging 20.8 points and 8.3 assists on 48 percent from the field and 42 percent from three. Not to mention his consistently elite defense. He is going to have poor shooting games, but he is still one of the top 25-30 players in the league right now and makes a huge impact on both ends.

Serge Ibaka: C

Ibaka saw some decent minutes early in the season with the injuries, and he was fine but nothing special. He is more of a deep bench piece at this point which can be thrown out there if needed, but there shouldn’t be much expected of him. He has some funny YouTube videos, though.

Brook Lopez: A+

The most pleasant surprise of the season for the Bucks so far has been the play of Brook Lopez. Many wondered if he should be moved in the offseason, given that he is 34 years old and coming off back surgery, and almost nobody expected him to look as amazing as he has. Lopez has been unreal defensively, leading the league in blocks and emerging as a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. On top of that, his offense has been great, too, shooting 49.7 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three while averaging his most points per game since his days in Brooklyn. Lopez is in serious consideration to be an All-Star this year, and that is unbelievable considering the way he was viewed coming into the season.

Wesley Matthews: C

Matthews has been pretty much what people expected from a 36-year-old. His efficiency has been poor, but he can still hit some threes, and he plays decent defense. He won’t have a huge role on this team, but he is fine as a depth piece who can survive on both ends of the floor.

Khris Middleton: D*

Khris Middleton has returned and has been disappointing in his first seven games back. Cue the overreactions. He is shooting just 32.5 percent from the field, and 26.8 percent from three and has yet to find his groove. But please be patient with Khris. He has bounced back from poor stretches so many times before and has earned our trust. Nobody should have been expecting him to come out and look the same after not playing for seven months. He’ll get better and look like himself again, so take him out of your trade machine trades.

Jordan Nwora: D

The Bucks re-signed Nwora in the offseason, but he still has yet to show much on either end of the floor. His efficiency is poor, his defense is among the worst of any player in the league, and he just does not look like a rotation player. He is starting to lose his minutes, and Milwaukee will likely look to add him as a piece to trade at some point.

Bobby Portis: B-

Bobby Portis has been one of the more interesting players to analyze so far this season for the Milwaukee Bucks. His averages are solid at 13.8 points and ten rebounds per game, and he has the 6th-most double-doubles in the league, but his defense and shooting have been a struggle. He is shooting a career-high 58.5 percent on two-pointers but a near career-low 30.9 percent on threes. He will always be someone who brings the energy, grabs plenty of boards, and can get some buckets offensively, but his defense and outside shooting will need to improve this season if he is going to be reliable long-term.

Next. Milwaukee Bucks depth chart with Joe Ingles healthy. dark

Stay tuned to see how each player fares for the rest of the season.