In his first two games, Donte DiVincenzo is showing he belongs on the big stage after being taken by the Milwaukee Bucks 17th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Donte DiVincenzo is showing there is potential value in the middle of the first round of the draft. Taken by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 17th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, DiVincenzo has worked hard through the summer to show he deserves the 21.0 minutes per game he has garnered in the first two games.
In these games, coach Mike Budenholzer has preferred to use the rookie off the bench before seasoned veterans like Tony Snell, Matthew Dellavedova and Pat Connaughton. There appears to be a number of reasons for this.
First and foremost, coach Buldenholzer subscribes to a 3-point shooting scheme. This was obvious during his time with the Atlanta Hawks. Already this season the Bucks have taken an average of 40 3-point attempts per game. Their high last season was 35.
DiVincenzo is shaping up to be a quality sniper from range. His first two shots for the Milwaukee Bucks were from beyond the arc and they found the bottom of the net. DiVincenzo would end the game making 2-of-4. In his first two games, DiVincenzo is shooting at a very respectable 3-for-8 (37.5 percent) from deep.
However, it’s not just long range shooting that’s garnering playing time for the rookie out of Villanova. Despite only registering one assist, DiVincenzo has shown an aptitude for driving and dishing or driving and finishing.
Two plays come to mind. The first was when he drove to the basket against the Charlotte Hornets and finished with his left hand at the rim. The second play was against the Indiana Pacers where he drove the ball to about five feet out and then threaded the needle to a cutting John Henson in the lane. Henson would be fouled and miss the shot, therefore not registering an assist, but it bodes well.
Movement without the ball
DiVincenzo also moves really well without the ball. In the Indiana game, he cut to the key and received the pass for an uncontested lay-in. Even at this early stage, DiVincenzo is showing he is going to be a player opponents are going to have to mark.
He is also moving well on defense. DiVicenzo is working hard to challenge any shot that goes up in his vicinity. Getting a hand in the face of a shooter lowers the field goal percentage for the shot and DiVicenzo is showing plenty of hustle on this end of the court.
This hustle was there for all to see against the Pacers. On one play, the Bucks turned the ball over outside the 3-point line and the Pacers were off to the races. DiVincezo was defending his player in the corner and was well away from the turnover.
He ran the length of the court at full pace, contesting the layup attempt. DiVicenzo blocked the ball clean against the backboard but unfortunately made contact with the body. Still, this stopped the fast break opportunity and made the Pacers earn their points at the line.
This level of hustle and commitment cannot be taught; you either have it or you don’t. It appears DiVicenzo has plenty of heart and hustle and this will possibly lead him to an All-Rookie nod.
Two games is a small sample size, but if he can keep it up, DiVicenzo will add another dimension to a Milwaukee Bucks team that looks good enough to challenge for home-court advantage come playoff time.