3 Key X-factors for the Milwaukee Bucks down the stretch in 2024

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3- AJ Green

This has been one of the biggest X-factors for the Milwaukee Bucks this season.

Known as the 13th guy off the bench last season, Green has flourished since Doc Rivers took over as coach.

Milwaukee saw Green's potential last season, and they rewarded him with a standard contract over the summer.

Green is a guy with a lightning-quick release, but he has shown more willingness to play defense this season. While he's not a lockdown defender, he's looked better since Doc Rivers took over.

The scoring averages might not be there - he's averaging a little over four points per game - but Green can make timely shots, as he hit a massive three against the Clippers to put Milwaukee up 101-96.

The aspect of Green's game that is enjoyable to watch is he's never afraid to shoot when he's open. With players in the past, like Thon Maker or Nikola Mirotic, that was their biggest knock. They deferred too often to Giannis Antetokounmpo or Khris Middleton, but now, the team has a guy who feels comfortable taking those shots in pressure-filled situations. That will help Milwaukee heading down the stretch.

For Green to continue to be an X-factor, he has to make shots more consistently. In his last 10 games, Green is shooting 38 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. While his defense is improved from last season, teams will look to attack him defensively, and being a fringe rotation guy, he will have a short leash come playoffs if he's not playing well.

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