Bucks legend provides glimmer of hope amid team's ongoing struggles

New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks
New York Knicks v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

It has been far from smooth sailing for the Milwaukee Bucks lately, dropping six of seven matchups, including four consecutive.

This stretch has been highlighted by the Bucks playing down their beat-up, undermanned opponents. Perhaps the worst defeat of them all was falling to a Toronto Raptors team that had lost 15 straight leading up to that game and had lost by 48 points in their prior matchup. The Milwaukee Bucks have had their rough patches this season, but none have been more rough than this.

Many have given up on the team at this point, already looking ahead to the off-season. While things are gloomy at the time of this writing, one stat could provide some level of optimism that this team can still regain its footing this season.

Bucks legend provides glimmer of hope amid team's ongoing struggles

Marques Johnson, a former Milwaukee Buck and current commentator for the team, tried to spread an intriguing stat to uplift those who are down on Milwaukee. He highlighted just how dominant the Bucks' starting lineup has been this season, pointing out how their net efficiency is the best across the league among five-man groups to play at least 300 minutes this season.

Looking closer at the numbers, this lineup boasts the third-best offensive rating and is tied for the second-best defensive rating among units with at least 300 minutes logged, per NBA.com/stats. When they play, Milwaukee's starting five has been incredible on both ends. The only problem is that they have not played many games together this season.

The Big 3 has been banged up all season long. Khris Middleton has been hit with an array of injuries. He exited Milwaukee's recent loss to the New York Knicks after being knocked in the mouth, but on the injury report ahead of Tuesday's game against the Boston Celtics, he is listed as questionable with a quad injury. The Milwaukee Bucks small forward simply cannot catch a break.

Damian Lillard has dealt with issues here and there, whether it be an ankle injury, personal reasons or whatever else. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the most consistent member of the bunch during the season thus far, but he's missed games here and there, most recently due to an ongoing nagging hamstring injury.

With the NBA Playoffs just four games away, the Milwaukee Bucks simply have not been able to build much chemistry, but this group is still a force to be reckoned with. If the Bucks can simply get healthy and get this five-man unit on the floor together before the postseason, it could give them a needed jolt to reignite their title dreams.

The biggest X-factor for the Bucks is health, especially from Middleton. The medical staff may be working overtime ahead of the NBA Playoffs.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.