No. 2 – The Milwaukee Bucks should look to get more firepower this offseason
The Bucks’ bench was a major liability this season. They ranked 17th in the NBA in bench scoring with just 34.3 extra markers per contest from their secondary guys, and they were often outscored by their opponents’ bench. The Bucks have known this for a while, but it’s clearer than ever that they absolutely need to add some depth and scoring punch off the bench in order to be a more complete team for the playoffs.
Outside of Bobby Portis, there’s really no tertiary Bucks that’s a complete, three-level scorer. Jevon Carter and Pat Connaughton are certainly talented shooters, but they don’t provide much else on the offensive side of the ball. As a result of their current bench struggles, the Bucks’ offense was stagnant at times in the playoffs, mostly in end-game situations. They need to add more shooting to their roster, especially from the perimeter, to open up the floor for Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.
Getting more firepower also means getting a deeper bench. The Bucks’ bench was not very good in the playoffs. They need to add some more depth and scoring off the bench. This would help to keep them in games when Antetokounmpo and Middleton are not on the court.
There are a few reasons why the Bucks need to improve their shooting. It would make them a more versatile team on offense. As it stands, they rely too heavily on Giannis Antetokounmpo to create shots for himself and his teammates. If they had more shooters on the roster, they would be able to spread the floor and create more open looks for everyone.
In the regular season, the Bucks were fourth in 3-point attempts per game after they hoisted over 40 treys a night. But they were only tenth in efficiency after converting on just 36.8 percent of those attempts. In the playoffs, they often struggled to score in the fourth quarter. This was due in part to their lack of shooting, as they were unable to create enough open looks to keep up with the Celtics.
This weakness is easy to pounce on when the game slows down. In the regular season, the Bucks were already 17th in the league in points per game in situations where the scoring margin is within five points with five or fewer minutes remaining in a game. But in the playoffs, they were the second-worst team in the clutch and the second-worst team in fourth-quarter points, per NBA.com/stats.
The Bucks’ biggest weakness this season was their lack of a consistent scorer on the wing, and better shooting across all three levels would help the Bucks close out games. Even in the regular season, Khris Middleton missed significant time with injuries, and Jrue Holiday was often the only reliable scoring option outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Bucks need to add a veteran wing scorer who can create their own shot and take some of the scoring load off of Antetokounmpo.
Competent coaches have picked this weakness apart time and time again, and it’s time the front office addressed it for good. No matter how they acquire it, the Bucks need to improve their shooting this offseason. It is a key area of need for the team, and it would make them a much more dangerous team in the playoffs.