With NBA Playoffs ahead, troubling stat could spell catastrophe for Bucks guard

Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks
Memphis Grizzlies v Milwaukee Bucks / John Fisher/GettyImages

For most of the season, Malik Beasley has been an incredible addition to the Milwaukee Bucks lineup.

Although he hasn't exactly been the defensive stopper the team has tried to mold him into being, he's brought excellent perimeter shooting, which is his calling card. Well, at least it was. Lately, he's been in a significant shooting slump, which has hindered his production mightily. Over his last 15 matchups, which span across all of March and two games in April, he's shot just 33.3 percent from long distance.

This brutal slump comes at a horrendous time with the NBA Playoffs set to kick off after six more regular season games and the Bucks currently stuck in the mud.

With NBA Playoffs ahead, troubling stat could spell doom for Milwaukee Bucks guard

If these struggles carry over into the playoffs, Beasley's minutes will likely take a hit, and it will be hard to keep him on the floor in big-time scenarios. In those situations, defenses will dial in on Milwaukee's star players, leaving room for Beasley to shoot. For most of the season, he's thrived with his shot off passess from Milwaukee's Big 3, but lately, not so much.

Over these last 15 games, Beasley has still done a nice job off passes from Giannis Antetokounmpo, shooting 40.6 percent on his triples, per NBA.com. However, the same cannot be said about the two other stars in Khris Middleton and Damian Lillard. Beasley is hitting 23.1 percent of his threes off of passes from Middleton and 29.3 percent off those from Lillard.

If he struggles to capitalize and make the defense pay when they zone in on Milwaukee's stars, it may come back to bite this team mightily.

This scenario played out in Milwaukee's recent double overtime defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers. In the second overtime, Beasley had five 3-point looks as the Bucks fought to stay alive, but he made just one of them. Some will say that he was likely gassed due it being double overtime, but these last 15 games suggest this issue expands beyond the final five minutes of that game.

To be fair, it's not like Beasley's fellow role players are running laps around him as outside shooters, as Pat Connaughton is shooting 32.8 percent, Jae Crowder is at 34.8 percent and Patrick Beverley is at 31.5 percent from long range in this stretch. They're all struggling, but Beasley's speciality above all else is being an outside shooter, so it's much more amplified when he's the one struggling.

Luckily for the Milwaukee Bucks, Beasley is one of the best perimeter shooters in the entire business. This season, he has shot above 45 percent from long range for a month on three separate occasions, which includes 51.5 percent in December. As all shooters find themselves in every now and then, the guard is in a rut, and he can certainly shoot his way out of it.

Beasley is in line for a big payday in NBA Free Agency this coming off-season, but whether or not he regains his elite shooting form could dictate just how big it may be.

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.