The Milwaukee Bucks have solidified their bench after adding Cameron Payne to solve their backup point guard issues.
With the personnel they’ve added, the Bucks have a strong reserve unit, that brings not only talent but also experience in big-time games. Having a wide variety of players that bring a multitude of things to the table brings greater depth to the roster, plus it alleviates some pressure on the starting unit on having to do so much. There are four key strong points to pay close attention to for the Bucks this year, that could very well tip the scale in them making a deep run to the Finals.
Bench Strength No. 1: Size and Strength
After losing P.J. Tucker, the Milwaukee Bucks have been searching for someone to replace his physical toughness and defensive prowess. They went and added Jae Crowder, who was seen as an upgrade from Tucker with his ability to score at a better rate. You pair Crowder’s strength with Bobby Portis’ strength, and you have two tough players bringing great defense and solid offense play onto the court.
Second year forward MarJon Beauchamp will also bring great length and size to the table, with a 6-foot-7 frame and a 7-foot- wingspan. Beauchamp still has some room to grow, but being around guys like Portis and Crowder and playing with them in the second unit could very well prove beneficial for his growth as a player as well.
Putting Crowder, Beauchamp, and Portis in the second unit provides the length that can help the team cover an opponent’s depth. The other beauty of this trio is their ability to guard a variety of positions. With Beauchamp at 6-foot-7, Portis at 6-foot-9, and Crowder at 6-foot-6, one would think they seem moderately undersized for their positions. However, Portis and Beauchamp both have great length, which allows them to recover against a player that might be a bit quicker, and they can also contest a player’s shot that might be a bit longer. For Crowder, he utilizes his strength in such a way that he’s listed as a power forward, which shows how tough he is as a player at his height.
Obviously, Pat Connaughton and Cameron Payne are not there to provide size or strength, but at times, Connaughton can punch above his weight at times. He brings more of a fierce competitiveness to the backup unit, which is also evident in players like Portis.
Ultimately, with such a long starting lineup, it’s important that the Milwaukee Bucks try to replicate that same attribute in their second unit. Being able to not have a drop off from their first five to their second five in size and strength can wear teams down, and defensively allow for the Milwaukee Bucks to have a one-up against other reserve groups.