After months of deliberation and roster construction on the part of the Milwaukee Bucks front office, it seems like the team’s 15-man rotation is set for the time being.
This is usually the time when we start to look back on Bucks history before turning the page to another regular season. In an earlier article, the site has already gone over former Milwaukee Bucks who remain unsigned in free agency.
With the NBA offseason relatively quiet as the regular season approaches, now is as good a time as any to revisit some of the most underrated Milwaukee Bucks of the Giannis Antetokounmpo era.
We’ll be including some of the Bucks from both the early days of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ascent to stardom, but also some newer names who were with the team as late as 2021.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the unsung heroes of the current iteration of the Milwaukee Bucks since the drafting of franchise cornerstone Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2013.
Underrated Milwaukee Bucks of the Giannis Antetokounmpo era – John Henson
Big man John Henson made a living almost solely on his shot-blocking and rim-protection, though he often pulled out a surprisingly polished sky hook that earned him the nickname “Captain Hook” during his tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The statistics back this up: in the 2017-18 NBA season, he made 81-of-153 on these shots, which is good for 52.9 percent efficiency according to NBA.com/stats. Those made for some fun memories when the Bucks were still not one of the winningest teams in the association.
In the early years of the Giannis Antetokunmpo era in Milwaukee, Henson often provided a defensive anchor in the paint, complementing Giannis’ versatile defensive abilities on the perimeter. And in the first year of the Mike Budenholzer regime, Henson showed a willingness to expand his game by taking shots way out on the perimeter as well, which was a welcome sight for fans looking to see a more modern offensive system for the Bucks post-Jason Kidd.
From 2013 to 2019, Henson posted norms of 7.8 points, 5.4 boards, and 1.5 blocks according to Basketball Reference. He wasn’t even close to star status by any means, but he proved to be a particularly serviceable bench big to defend opposing teams’ secondary units whenever the likes of Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe, and Thon Maker took to the bench. This steady bench play lasted for years.
Henson’s impact on the team’s defense, particularly as a rim deterrent, went underappreciated by many fans who were happy to see him go under the Mike Budenholzer era. But for his time here, John Henson gave Bucks fans many good moments and a lot to be excited about before the emergece of the Greek Freak.