As people across the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at this week’s edition of the Milwaukee Bucks Player Rankings.
Week in Review (1-2)
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L: Milwaukee Bucks, 73 @ Miami Heat, 96
L: Golden State Warriors, 124 @ Milwaukee Bucks, 121
W: Orlando Magic, 89 @ Milwaukee Bucks, 93
For the second straight week, the Bucks finished 1-2, bringing the squad’s total record down to 6-7. Even though the team has dipped below .500, there is very little cause for concern. The record is far from perfect, but the team seems to get better every single night.
The loss to the Heat was a tough one to witness, but the team did a great job rallying together and put up a great fight at home against the Warriors, where they just wouldn’t go away. Also, this was another example of the Bucks truly playing small ball, with Giannis at the center position, for an extended stretch of time. Then, Milwaukee came right back against the Magic and after a rough first quarter, settled down and rode five Jabari Parker threes to their sole victory on the week.
Among the major takeaways from the week, the improvement in team chemistry has been huge. Michael Beasley is coming to play every night and brings a weird energy to the team. He is a spark plug off the bench, and there is no other way to describe it.
Next, Jason Terry is relentless with keeping his teammates and the crowd engaged. Even at 39, the man knows how to rally the troops and is showing everybody what a presence he is off the court as a teammate.
And lastly, the Jabari and Giannis chemistry in transition is almost too good, and the team is still hovering around breakeven without major contributions from their backcourt of Delly and Snelly due to their play.
Still, the dynamic duo of Major Cat and the Greek Freak cannot carry the team every night, so more players need to step it up.
And with that, let’s take a look at this week’s Player Rankings for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Although Steve Novak was the only player to truly land on the DNP list for all three games this week, with Rashad Vaughn and Thon Maker only playing a combined two minutes, they have found themselves in this spot as well.
With this being said, let’s take this time to acknowledge that after some solid play in the D-League, Mr. Showtime will be hopefully playing significant minutes with the main squad real soon.
Last week: DNP-CD Last rank: 14
Last week: 1 GP: 1.0 min/0.0 pts/0.0 rebs/0.0 asts Last rank: 10
Last week: 1 GP: 1.0 min/0.0 pts/0.0 rebs/0.0 asts Last rank: 13
Last week: 2 GP: 5.5 mins/2.0 pts/1.0 reb/0.5 asts Last rank: 3
What’s going on with Greg Monroe’s minutes? He looked like the clear-cut best Milwaukee center through the first few games of the season, but all of a sudden that has been turned on its head. In the last three games, Monroe played a combined 11 minutes, and that included a DNP-CD. This has to be frustrating for him, especially because he sat out major minutes against teams that he has terrorized in the past. Hopefully whatever situation he is in clears up quickly because he is a talented player to leave buried at the end of the bench.
Monroe was the “fastest faller” in this week’s edition of the Player Rankings, but that is no fault of his own. Once he starts to get the minutes, he’ll go back up near the top.
Last week: 3 GP: 14.0 mins/4.3 pts/3.7 rebs/1.3 asts Last rank: 12
With the rest of the Bucks’ bench playing good basketball over this last stretch, Miles Plumlee slots into the #10 spot despite having a pretty good week. This is surely an improvement from #12 last week, but coming off his major contract signed this summer, Bucks’ fans are looking for him to have a much bigger overall impact on the game. With Greg Monroe sitting out so many minutes, Plumlee received 14 minutes per game over the course of this week, and capitalized on them to the tune of a solid all-around performance. He started to get back some of the flashes he showed last season, but he also committed 10 fouls and 4 turnovers in a total of 42 minutes. These are not good numbers.
Still a long way to go for Plumlee to get back in the good graces of Milwaukee fans.
Last week: 3 GP: 12.3 mins/4.3 pts/3.0 rebs/0.7 asts Last rank: 9
Despite receiving the least amount of minutes among Bucks who played in all three games this week, Mirza was 3rd on the team in three-pointers attempted. Does this surprise anyone? He is a quick trigger that most fans have never seen from a spot-up shooter who cannot create for himself. The problem with this quick trigger, however, is that the shots just aren’t dropping at the moment (just 3/13 on the week). This can be somewhat related to the inconsistent minutes that he is playing, as it takes some time for a shooter to heat up in some games, but he needs to start showing Jason Kidd that he has the hot hand from behind the arc early in ballgames or he will see even less minutes.
On an understated note, Telly had a solid week rebounding the ball. While playing 37 total minutes this week, he snagged nine rebounds. Given the fact that he has averaged 6.8 rebounds per 36 minutes for his career, this week is evidence of Telly’s ability to put himself in the right position for missed attempts by the opposition (all of his rebounds were defensive).
Last week: 3 GP: 17.3 mins/3.3 pts/3.3 rebs/1.7 asts Last rank: 5
This was definitely a rough week for Brogdon, but that does not mean he didn’t play hard. Brogdon continues to play big minutes for Coach Kidd, and Brogdon will certainly keep getting called upon. The President had a another fine week on the boards, but it was his poor shooting in three games that has caused his fall from #5 to #8 on this week’s rankings. He was just 1/6 from behind the arc, where he is getting plenty of easy looks, especially in the corner after drives by Giannis.
Along with his poor shooting from deep, his percentages suffered inside the arc as well. Just 2/13 from inside the three-point area is abysmal and those numbers need to come back to normal soon for the young guard to move back into his role as the reliable backup.
Last week: 3 GP: 18.0 mins/5.7 pts/1.7 rebs/2.0 asts Last rank: 11
There is one thing about Jason Terry’s play so far this season that cannot be understated: his energy. He might be 39-years-old, but the Jet brings it all every single night and he is always ready to pump up his teammates and the crowd after a big play. His infectious attitude it starting to pay dividends even more now that he is knocking down some shots. Terry was 2/3 from behind the arc and is playing significant minutes for the squad off the bench.
It might only be through a portion of the season thus far, but the Jet is showing no signs of running out of gas. As long as his minutes stay below 18 per game, he will likely stay a valuable member of this team.
Last week: 3 GP: 22.7 mins/7.0 pts/4.7 rebs/0.6 asts Last rank: 7
Since settling into his role as the starting center for the Bucks, Henson has been quite solid. He has shown nice moves in the paint and has stayed within his limits, as attributed by his 56.3% shooting from the floor during this week. Also, he does a very nice job making sure that he does not clog up the lane for Jabari or Giannis when they drive. He was second on the team in fouls this week, but he also added six key blocks, which was also good for second on the team.
This ability to be a rim protector with a low offensive usage rate makes him a valuable asset to the Bucks as a starting center. Most people would argue that Greg Monroe is the best center on the roster, but Henson is probably better suited to play with Giannis and Jabari due to his unique play style.
Last week: 3 GP: 30.7 mins/5.7 pts/2.7 rebs/6.0 asts Last rank: 6
Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers. They are detrimental to any team, but especially when so many of them are coming at the point guard position. Although six of them came in the first quarter against the Magic, Delly finished the week tied for a team-high of nine turnovers. He did dish out 18 assists, but he needs to start bringing his turnover numbers down and his shooting numbers up.
Yet again, he finished the week well under his career average for 3P%, as he was 2/7 from deep (28.6%). To put into perspective his poor shooting, let’s look at what he’s done for attempts and percentages to this point in his career:
Clearly this is not where he wants to be. His attempts per game are down and his percentage has dropped dramatically. Sure, he is generating assists at a high rate, but with more Point Giannis to come in the future, he should get more open looks and he should knock them down. Delly continues to find himself in the middle of the pack in these rankings each week, which is largely in part to his major role on the team, where he plays around 30 minutes per game.
Last week: 3 GP: 29.0 mins/10.0 pts/4.7 rebs/1.0 ast Last rank: 8
It’s obvious that Tony Snell hasn’t exactly found his stroke in Milwaukee yet, with just a 29.7% three-point percentage, but if the last three games are any indication, maybe he is starting to come around. During this last stretch, he attempted five threes per game and buried two of them, which is the equivalent to shooting 40%, definitely a fair number. This shooting might be indicative of Snell starting to turn things around in regards to his shooting. Maybe he just needed a few more games with the new team and to get settled after the injury.
Plus, with his much needed defense, Snell is starting to mold himself into a fine basketball player for the Bucks. Even though he rarely gets to the free throw line, he also avoids fouling on the other end and is a solid rebounder at the shooting guard slot.
Last week: 3 GP: 18.7 mins/12.0 pts/5.3 rebs/0.3 asts Last rank: 4
One does not simply stop Michael Beasley from scoring. Despite seeing the sixth most minutes on the team during the week, Beas was the team’s third leading scorer. And not only did he score, but he did so in a variety of ways. He knocked down his mid-range jumper and also flourished with a signature five-foot fallaway. Beasley was even able to connect on one of his two three-point attempts. His only struggle offensively came at the free throw line, where he was just 3/7.
Along with his scoring, B-Easy was third in rebounds for the squad, totaling seven offensive boards and nine defensive. If he keeps up this kind of scoring and rebounding, Beasley will see a more pronounced role and maybe a shot at a Sixth Man of the Year award come his way. Maybe.
Last week: 3 GP: 35.0 mins/20.3 pts/5.3 rebs/3.3 asts Last rank: NR
Jabari was great this week, no doubt about it. He played the second-most minutes in the week and was in attack mode for all of it. Parker might have attempted the most shots out of anyone, but this aggressive scoring mentality is exactly what Bucks’ fans want to see. This assertiveness in making his way to the basket is a far better sign of his potential than just settling for the same mid-range jump shots. Also, speaking of jump shots, how about this three-point shooting?
Jabari was 7/15 (46.7%) from behind the arc this week and was stroking it with confidence every time he rose up for a shot. Before the season, most people thought that if Jabari could shoot just in the low 30s from three on a fair number of attempts this season it would be a massive improvement from last season. However, through 13 games, he is averaging 3.0 shot attempts from behind the arc and connecting on 38.5% of them. This is certainly a sign of good things to come.
Last week: 3 GP: 38.3 mins/21.7 pts/7.0 rebs/6.7 asts Last rank: NR
Despite Jabari Parker having an outstanding week, it is not easy to unseat Giannis Antetokounmpo from the top spot on these rankings. Across the board, Giannis was absolutely fantastic this week. He led the Bucks in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and minutes (plus fouls and turnovers, but I digress). His sensational play is no longer a sign of things to come, but just another week in which Giannis is showing the entire NBA what he is right now. The kid can play, and he is making a case for him to be considered among the league’s best overall players.
As long as the Bucks continue to be competitive, it is looking like the Greek Freak will be heading for the All-Star Game this season, and for years to come.