Milwaukee Bucks’ Starting Option 3: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, Brook Lopez
With Middleton’s defense being hot-and-cold at times, I think the Milwaukee Bucks would like to see a bigger and more defensive-minded lineup starting. Bringing Portis off the bench and into the starting lineup will immediately give the Bucks a boost defensively, but also added help in the paint and scoring overall with Portis’ versatile ability.
Portis has seen his role increase each and every year during his time in Milwaukee. The Bucks clearly enjoy having him on the team, and the proof is there after they went 47-23 with Portis playing last year. Not only has he had an impact when in the lineup during the regular season, but he’s been a major contributor in the playoffs as well. Since 2021, the Bucks are 15-4 in the playoffs when Portis scores 10 or more points in a playoff game, per Stat Muse.
His play for the Bucks has given him major publicity, which led to his name being in the running for the Sixth Man of the Year award this past year. The infectious play he brings to the table would elevate the starting lineup both offensively and defensively. He’s a workhorse on the glass, and his defense has improved each year he’s been with Milwaukee.
With an average of 14.1 points per game and nearly 10 rebounds a contest off the bench, he was the constant energizer for the Bucks off the bench. His presence in the starting lineup was inconsistent, but Milwaukee had solid success with him being in the first five, going 13-8 when he was in the opening unit. Having his defense in the starting lineup would cover up whatever Beasley lacks on that side of the floor and would add more scoring to the bunch.
Not to mention, it would give some added help to Lopez in the paint rebound-wise and defensively can make the Bucks nearly impenetrable with his 6-foot-10 frame extending beyond the paint.
It’s obvious who the first four will be in the starting lineup, with the potential of one of the regular four being a sixth man at times. But the fifth spot could very well be tested around until Coach Griffin decides who he wants to settle with as a regular. I expect the first month-and-change of the season, we will see a few different players pick up that fifth spot. But, come December or January, we will have a much better idea of who the every-night starting squad will be for the Milwaukee Bucks.
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