Why Wesley Matthews returning could give the Bucks a huge boost

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 16 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 16 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks losing Wesley Matthews after Game 1 of their first round series with the Miami Heat has not been a huge storyline, but his absence has hurt this team.

Matthews was Milwaukee’s go-to wing defender during the regular season, and the Bucks have missed his presence on that side of things over their last three games. The veteran has missed those games due to a calf strain, but after three games on the sidelines, it appears Matthews will return to the floor in Game 5 against the Miami Heat. That could be a major lift for the Bucks as they look to stave off elimination and keep their title hopes alive.

Why Wesley Matthews returning could give the Bucks a huge boost

It is no secret that the Bucks have failed to slow down Jimmy Butler to any degree in this series thus far. The forward has been able to get whatever he wants offensively, no matter which Buck has guarded him. No, Matthews is not going to come back and shut down Butler. However, he is one of Milwaukee’s most physical defenders and can make things tough for Butler, unlike some of the team’s other players. When Matthews is on the floor, his lone task will be to make everything more difficult for Jimmy Butler than it has been.

Having Matthews back could also help other Bucks, mainly Jrue Holiday, who has taken the Butler assignment for much of this series. Due to the load that he’s had to shoulder on defense, Holiday has struggled mightily. Perhaps having Matthews take on Butler could allow Holiday to focus on the offensive end more and get into some sort of a groove. Milwaukee desperately needs more from Holiday in this series, and this development could potentially help get the wheels turning.

At the end of the day, Matthews might not be a difference-maker, but it will be nice to have a big wing to throw at Butler. Antetokounmpo and Holiday should also see some time against him, but Matthews will look to lessen the load from their shoulders and allow them to conserve some of their energy for the offensive side of the floor.

Next. 3 Bucks playing for their future in Milwaukee in the NBA Playoffs. dark

Be sure to tune in for a must-see Game 5 between the Bucks and Heat tonight.