Underrated Milwaukee Bucks of the Giannis Antetokounmpo era – Pat Connaughton
Connaughton’s bread and butter has always come in his being a 3-point specialist who can also play good defense, but his game as of late has evolved to be much more than the 3-and-D title. He has been a valuable role player for the Bucks off the bench, and he has made some big shots in the playoffs. However, he is often overlooked, and he does not get the same level of attention as the Bucks’ other stars.
Pat Connaughton was a key contributor to the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2021 NBA championship run. He made several clutch shots, including a 3-pointer in Game 6 that helped seal the victory for the Bucks. He also arguably played near-perfect defense for the team; per NBA.com/stats matchup data, Devin Booker shot 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) and turned the ball over once with Planet Pat as the closest defender in that 2021 NBA Finals series.
Connaughton was not expected to play a major role in the Milwaukee Bucks’ championship run. But he stepped up big time, averaging 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 30.0 minutes per game in the Finals. He shot 44.1 percent from 3-point range, including two unforgettably clutch “Bang!” shots punctuated by none other than Mike Breen.
Don’t take this the wrong way. Considering he’s likey way past his physical ceiling and that it’s unclear if his game can expand any more than it has, Connaughton is probably adequately rated as a player. But when it comes to his place in Bucks history, many don’t realize how much he has done for this franchise.
Connaughton’s performance was a major reason why the Bucks won the championship. It takes a village to win a chip in this league, and the Bucks chip was proof of that. Guys like Connaughton were the unsung hero of the Finals, and it’s time for Bucks fans — many of whom are still calling for him to be traded — to give him his flowers.