Young Bucks Tracker: Brogdon making case for ROY

With two-thirds of the roster born in 1990 or later, the Milwaukee Bucks are a young, growing team. Every Thursday for the rest of the season, FOX Sports Wisconsin will take a closer look at the players that are 25 years old and younger (for the most part, those still in their first four NBA seasons), measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

This is the 15th edition of the 2016-17 Young Bucks Tracker.

(A glossary of the advanced statistics used for season totals, which are from basketball-reference.com. can be found at the end of this article)

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO (Age 22, fourth season)

Statistical season averages: 35.5 minutes, 23.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.9 blocks, 52.6 FG%, 27.6 3PT%.

Statistical averages, last week: 36.3 minutes, 21.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.8 blocks, 54.5 FG%, 28.6 3PT%.

Advanced stats, season: 26.3 PER, 60.6 percent TS%, 28.3 percent USG%, 117 ORtg, 105 DRtg, 5.2 VORP.

Notable: Antetokounmpo the past week with two strong games — 33 points on 10-of-16 shooting with 12 rebounds and five steals against Utah and 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting with eight rebounds and six assists vs. Phoenix. But he struggled against Cleveland and Denver, who did a good job of getting Antetokounmpo out of his game and rhythm. He combined for just 24 points on 9-of-26 shooting in those two games.

 

The Young Bucks Tracker Archives

MALCOLM BROGDON (Age 24, first season)

Statistical season averages: 25.7 minutes, 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.1 blocks, 44.4 FG%, 42.3 3PT%.

Statistical averages, last week: 27.8 minutes, 15.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, 50.0 FG%, 46.7 3PT%.

Advanced stats, season: 15.3 PER, 54.5 percent TS%, 18.5 percent USG%, 109 ORtg, 112 DRtg, 0.3 VORP.

Notable: As we head into the stretch run, Brogdon might now be considered the favorite for NBA Rookie of the Year with Joel Embiid out for the season and having played only 31 games (for comparison, this would be like a Major League Baseball rookie having played 61 games or an NFL rookie six games). Brogdon certainly played like it in Milwaukee’s last three games, scoring 15, 20 and 17 points on 52.5 percent shooting (and 50 percent from 3). Earlier this week former NBA great Kevin McHale said Brogdon was his choice for top rookie. A few more weeks to prove McHale right.

 

THON MAKER (Age 20, first season)

Statistical season averages: 7.7 minutes, 3.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, 47.1 FG%, 51.3 3PT%.

Statistical averages, last week: 10.8 minutes, 3.5 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 30.8 FG%, 57.1 3PT%.

Advanced stats, season: 15.1 PER, 60.2 percent TS%, 18.6 percent USG%, 116 ORtg, 109 DRtg, 0.0 VORP.

Notable: Maker turned 20 this week and also saw a dip in playing time — back to single digits in the last two games — despite continuing to start. Maker has struggled a bit since taking on a larger role — his Offensive Rating this past week was 93 and his Defensive Rating 114 — but he still can sink a 3.

 

KHRIS MIDDLETON (Age 25, fifth season)

Statistical season averages: 23.1 minutes, 11.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.1 blocks, 44.3 FG%, 58.3 3PT%.

Statistical averages, last week: 27.6 minutes, 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.0 blocks, 41.4 FG%, 62.5 3PT%.

Advanced stats: 16.7 PER, 56.6 percent TS%, 22.7 percent USG%, 111 ORtg, 109 DRtg, 0.0 VORP.

Notable: Middleton continues to sit out the second of back-to-back games. He responded to extended rest by playing 30 minutes against Denver on Wednesday and scoring 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting (including 3 of 3 on 3-point attempts) with five rebounds and five assists.

 

TONY SNELL (Age 25, fourth season)

Statistical season averages: 28.7 minutes, 8.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 45.5 FG%, 39.8 3PT%.

Statistical averages, last week: 31.3 minutes, 7.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, 40.0 FG%, 35.3 3PT%.

Advanced stats: 9.4 PER, 60.2 percent TS%, 11.5 percent USG%, 115 ORtg, 114 DRtg, 0.4 VORP.

Notable: Snell has played 31 or more minutes in four of the last five games. In the win over Phoenix he had 13 points and made 3 of 6 3-point attempts.

 

RASHAD VAUGHN (Age 20, second season)

Statistical season averages: 11.1 minutes, 3.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.2 blocks, 35.0 FG%, 33.9 3PT%.

Statistical averages, last week: 7.5 minutes, 1.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, 20.0 FG%, 33.3 3PT%.
Advanced stats, season: 7.8 PER, 45.1 percent TS%, 16.2 percent USG%, 90 ORtg, 110 DRtg, -0.2 VORP.

Notable: With Middleton out, Vaughn, after sitting out vs. Phoenix, got extended playing time against Cleveland (14:19). He made just 1 of 4 shots but had five rebounds.

 

Others: Axel Toupane, 24, is on a 10-day contract and played for five minutes in one game (vs. Denver), missing his only shot.

Out for the season: Jabari Parker.

 

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

PER — Player Efficiency Rating: A measure of per-minute production standardized such that the league average is 15.

TS% — True Shooting Percentage: A measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws.

USG% — Usage Percentage: An estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor.

ORtg — Offensive Rating: An estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.

DRtg — Defensive Rating: An estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions.

VORP — Value over Replacement Player: A box score estimate of the points per 100 TEAM possessions that a player contributed above a replacement-level (-2.0) player, translated to an average team and prorated to an 82-game season.

Dave Heller is the author of the new book Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow as well as Facing Ted Williams Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns