The Milwaukee Bucks played their first preseason game of the 2023-24 season this past Sunday, opening with a 105-102 win over the Chicago Bulls. The game was our first glimpse of new head coach Adrian Griffin’s team and how it will look with him leading the charge.
The Bucks did not play Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, or Khris Middleton, so we did not see what the starting five would look like when the regular season opens. With Antetokounmpo, Lillard, Middleton, and Brook Lopez likely being four locks, the fifth starter is still up in the air for the Bucks. These are the three best options to be the team’s fifth starter this season.
No. 3 – Pat Connaughton
Pat Connaughton is entering his sixth season with the Bucks season. Of the options to take the final spot in the starting lineup, he has the most experience with the team’s current core. Connaughton has started sparingly throughout his Bucks tenure, so he knows what the role requires.
Connaughton is coming off his worst season in Milwaukee, considering the growing expectations for him after the previous couple of seasons. An opportunity as the team’s full-time starter would give him a significant confidence boost following a rough season a year ago.
Outside of the 2020 bubble, where seemingly everything went wrong for the Bucks, Connaughton has performed well in big moments in Milwaukee. The most prominent example of Connaughton stepping up was the 2021 NBA Finals, where he made 15 threes, including a huge one down the stretch in Game 4 to give Milwaukee the lead late.
Connaughton has delivered for the Bucks many times throughout his Bucks tenure. He would be a reliable fifth starter for the team if that’s the route Griffin and his staff decide to go.