3 Milwaukee Bucks role players who could be the key for a great playoff run

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Pat Connaughton: A playoff riser again?

Pat Connaughton is far from having his best year since he got to Milwaukee. He's actually having his second-lowest scoring season, but that's not necessarily a problem as long as he steps up for the occasion when the playoffs start. He's done that before and will have to do it again.

Role players tend to become more inconsistent in the postseason, but Connaughton has been one of the rare exceptions that seems to feel more comfortable in the bigger stages. He wasn't at first, but he's grown into it and has delivered some big-time performances in the last three seasons.

He was quite good in the 2021 Finals, shooting 50 percent from three through Games 1 to 5, even hitting some big ones in the clutch. In 2022, he stepped up once Middleton got hurt and averaged 10.3 points while shooting 42.4 percent from behind the arc in seven games against the Boston Celtics. Last year, he was one of the few players who didn't disappoint against the Heat with 12 points per game while shooting 47.8 percent from three.

This season, many fans have felt disappointed by his game to they point where they asked for him to be traded. However, he's shown he can turn things around. The Bucks will need some backcourt defense and some big-time shots, and he's able to provide that. If he can do it again, the Bucks' chances of making noise in the playoffs will suddenly increase.

That's not the only thing he has going for him, though. The roster doesn't have many players who can drive the ball and attack the rim, and that's mainly lacking in the role players. Shooters like Green, Crowder, or (to a lesser degree) Beasley don't actually have a great way to punish defenses that are too aggressive on the closeout, but Connaughton does, being able to add another dimension to the Bucks' offense.

He's not the strongest rim finisher but can score that way, and he can make some good passes, too, reading how the defense relocates and creating some good shots. He's far from stellar in this kind of plays, but he's probably the best role player for this work and he'll have chances to prove it. If he's able to make a difference on offense, not only by his shooting, the Bucks will be way harder to stop.

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