In order to make a deep run in the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks will need their second unit to step up. But do they have the right guys to do so?
The Milwaukee Bucks have a very good starting five. With Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, their starters can play with anyone. However, the issue may come down to their bench.
Coming into the season, many analysts thought new head coach Mike Budenholzer might start Tony Snell at the 2 instead of Brogdon. Although Brogdon is clearly the better player, Snell is a cleaner fit with the first five. He doesn’t require the ball in his hands, can help spread the floor by knocking down threes and plays very solid defense.
To support that theory, Brogdon could then run the second unit. Brogdon is much better than Snell with the ball in his hands and can initiate the offense and help create for others. This would give the second unit an anchor to work around.
However, if the preseason lineups mean anything, Brogdon is locked into a starting spot with Snell headed to the bench to begin games. That leaves the Bucks in an interesting conundrum.
Nobody on their second unit has proven they can create a shot for themselves or their teammates. That may be particularly troublesome as every team needs their bench to step up and win games from time to time. Especially if Milwaukee has deep playoff aspirations.
Matthew Dellavedova is likely to play limited minutes and, even though he’s listed as a point guard, he’s unable to get anything going for himself or others. Rookie first-round pick Donte DiVincenzo has flashed an ability to get into the lane, but has struggled to score at all levels on the floor.
Budenholzer likely has a plan to address this that includes offsetting his starters minutes-mainly Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Bledsoe. If the head coach can ensure at least one of those players is on the floor at all times, it might help to offset the Bucks’ second unit weakness. Then it’s up to that second unit to knock down the shots and make the plays that are handed to them.