4 Tweaks to improve the Milwaukee Bucks before 2024 NBA Playoffs

Portland Trail Blazers v Milwaukee Bucks
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No. 4 - Integrating younger players into the system

Record and defense aside, perhaps one of the most glaring differences between Doc Rivers and former head coach Adrian Griffin is the wealth of opportunities the latter gave to the team’s young Milwaukee Bucks in AJ Green, MarJon Beauchamp, and Andre Jackson Jr. Their draft day haul was certainly cause for excitement at the time, but the team's youth movement just hasn't gotten much of an opportunity under Rivers.

While Green does get playing time every now and again, the latter two are clearly in Rivers’ dog house. To be fair, fans did see this coming as Rivers has built up a reputation around the league of relying more on more established veterans. Where Griffin once used Beauchamp and Jackson as spark plugs to inject more athleticism and youthful energy into a game, Rivers has said that one of his priorities going forward is bringing back Pat Connaughton’s confidence ahead of the playoffs.

With the Bucks likely securing a high playoff seed, giving these young players extended minutes in games where the outcome is already decided allows them valuable experience in a live NBA setting. This helps them adjust to the pace, physicality, and decision-making required at the professional level.

Coach Rivers could also be more decisive in identifying specific situations where these players' skillsets can be utilized within the existing playbook. For example, running a play for Beauchamp to attack closeouts on a Giannis drive or using Green's defensive instincts in specific defensive schemes. This builds confidence and allows them to contribute meaningfully without disrupting the core players' rhythm.

At the end of the day, there’s also them option of utilizing the G-League for targeted development. The G-League provides a platform for these young players to get more playing time and refine their skills against other young professionals. This allows them to return to the Bucks with more experience and confidence.

Even down the stretch of the regular season, this is important because integrating young players provides valuable depth and roster flexibility. This is crucial in the playoffs, where injuries or foul trouble can disrupt rotations.

Having reliable young players ready to contribute can be the difference between winning and losing a close game. Developing these young players now not only helps them contribute this season but also lays the groundwork for the future. The Milwaukee Bucks might not always have the opportunity to acquire a superstar like Damian Lillard. Having homegrown talent ready to step up ensures the Bucks remain competitive in the years to come.

By implementing these tweaks, the Milwaukee Bucks just might unlock a few gears and improve their performance down the stretch of the NBA season. And as we've seen in years past, using the regular season to find their best selves has already positioned the Bucks for a successful playoff run once. We certainly hope that's the case again this year.

Stay tuned for more breakdowns of the Milwaukee Bucks as playoff season comes around.