Underrated Milwaukee Bucks of the Giannis Antetokounmpo era – Donte DiVincenzo
Donte DiVincenzo often flies under the radar when discussing the most impactful players during the Giannis Antetokounmpo era with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Let’s talk about his on-court ability first. DiVincenzo was and still is a versatile player who contributes on both ends of the court. His ability to defend multiple positions and guard some of the league’s top scorers often goes unnoticed. His defensive prowess complements Giannis’ dominant defensive presence and helps create a well-rounded team defense that has been crucial to the Bucks’ success.
Statistics back this up. The year he went down with injury, NBA.com/stats shows he actually finished in the 81st percentile when defending isolation plays after offensive players only tacked on 0.72 points per possession with Donte as the closest defender.
As one of the team’s only younger players, DiVincenzo’s hustle and high-energy playstyle embodied the Bucks’ culture of hard work and dedication. He often made crucial hustle plays, such as diving for loose balls, grabbing offensive rebounds, and making timely steals. These intangible contributions can have a significant impact on the team’s momentum and success, yet they might not always be reflected in traditional statistics.
DiVincenzo has shown up in big moments during the playoffs, demonstrating his ability to elevate his game on the grandest stage. His performance during the 2021 NBA Playoffs, before his unfortunate injury, showcased his willingness to step up and make key plays when the team needed it the most. His absence due to injury also highlighted his importance to the team’s rotation and overall success.
Considering it was around this time that the Bucks front office started leaning into signing aging but established veterans to be instant difference-makers, Donte’s role as one of the few younger pieces was grossly underestimated. He had already displayed steady progress in his game since entering the league, and his continued development would have made him an even more impactful player alongside Giannis in the coming years.
We know how his Bucks tenure ends. Instead of becoming one of the team’s bright young pieces for the future, he was essentially traded for Serge Ibaka — who rarely saw the floor. Donte eventually became one of the key pieces for the championship Golden State Warriors the following year, and is now poised for a much bigger role on the New York Knicks.
While he might not always grab the headlines, his presence on the court significantly impacted the team’s dynamics and overall performance in his short time with us, which for this writer rightfully earns him the status of one of the most underrated players of this era.