3 Crucial team X-factors for the Milwaukee Bucks down the stretch

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 01 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 01 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz: Udoka Azubuike
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – MARCH 24 (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

3 Team X-factors for the Milwaukee Bucks down the stretch – Diverse scoring

In the Budenholzer era, the Bucks have always been known for their defense; it was that reputable defense that helped them secure a title in 2021. With so much emphasis on the defense, it is not a secret that Milwaukee has had its share of struggles on offense. In last year’s playoffs, the Bucks essentially lived and died by what Giannis Antetokounmpo could produce on that end after they lost Khris Middleton. This year, they need all hands on deck offensively.

Teams are going to do whatever they can to prevent Antetokounmpo from attacking the hoop in big matchups. The wall will continue to be built, which will provide more opportunities for players to step up offensively. Middleton and Jrue Holiday will shoulder their share of the workload, but it is no secret that these two can have off games as well. That is where the Bucks need others to get involved, such as Bobby Portis, Joe Ingles, Grayson Allen, Brook Lopez, and more. Everyone listed there is capable of putting points on the board, and the Bucks will need them to showcase it.

What cannot happen is what took place in the second quarter of Milwaukee’s recent beatdown at the hands of the Boston Celtics. In the second quarter, Bucks not named Antetokounmpo shot an excruciatingly ugly 2-of-18 from the floor, while the Greek Freak was 7-of-13. It was ugly, and it propelled a Boston run that quickly became insurmountable. The Bucks need these guys to step it up and put the ball in the hoop in big moments.

Ingles and Lopez are two particular players who could be huge for the Bucks in this regard, as the two have been solid complementary scorers this season. Lopez is averaging 15.6 points this year, his most since the 2016-17 season, while having a career year from three. If he can carry this over into the postseason, it would help alleviate some of the workload off of the Big 3. The same goes for Ingles, who is averaging just 6.9 points on the season but is capable of going for double-digit points any given night. Portis and Allen are also certainly capable of making a splash offensively.