Young Bucks Tracker: March 4 edition

BY foxsports • March 4, 2015

With two-thirds of the roster born after 1990, the Bucks are a young, growing team trying to develop an identity and a franchise that has to figure out which players have a future in Milwaukee. Every Wednesday for the rest of the season, FOX Sports Wisconsin's James Carlton takes a closer look at the players that are still on their rookie contracts, measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

This is the 13th edition of Young Bucks Tracker.

GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO (age 20, second season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 35.5 minutes (30.1), 11.3 points (12.1), 8.8 rebounds (6.7), 4.0 assists (2.5), 1.5 blocks (1.1), 2.0 steals (1.0), 48.5 FG% (49.5), 50.0 3PT% (18.2).

Advanced stats, season: 15.4 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 55.5 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 18.4 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Down

Noted: Like the rest of the young Bucks, Antetokounmpo's minutes have risen and his role has increased since the trade of Brandon Knight. Since his NBA Player of the Week breakout three weeks ago, Antetokounmpo has been inconsistent and his impact has fluctuated night to night. In the first two games of this week, an easy win over the hapless 76ers and a loss to the nearly-as-hapless Lakers, the Greek Freak shot badly (less than 28 percent from the floor). Then, in a defeat to the Jazz, he seemed disengaged early, not even attempting a shot in the first half and finishing with a line of just eight points, five rebounds and four assists -- not productive enough for the 34 minutes he played. But on Tuesday against the Nuggets, Antetokounmpo was much better, putting up his first double-double (19 points, 11 boards) since his Player of the Week period and even hitting a big 3-pointer from the corner.

MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS (age 23, second season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 27.0 minutes (33.3), 10.5 points (14.6), 2.5 rebounds (5.9), 5.0 assists (7.2), 0.3 blocks (0.4), 1.8 steals (1.5), 50.0 FG% (38.6), 16.7 3PT% (25.2).

Advanced stats, season: 13.2 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 45.0 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 19.9 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Up

Noted: In his Bucks debut, Carter-Williams was cruelly efficient against his old team, finishing with seven points and eight assists in a playmaking 18 minutes in the win over Philly. The distribution in his next three games was lacking, though. His poor shooting hasn't been a big problem yet, as he's been hesitant to attempt much of anything outside of about 12 feet, and he's done well to get to the rim, especially in a 16-point (6-of-10) night against Utah. After missing the first three games since coming to Milwaukee due to injury, and playing less than usual in the next two games, Carter-Williams is getting closer to his normal nightly workload and should only further gel with teammates going forward.

TYLER ENNIS (age 20, first season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 15.5 minutes (11.5), 5.3 points (3.7), 1.0 rebounds (1.0), 2.0 assists (1.8), 0.3 blocks (0.2), 1.0 steals (0.4), 42.9 FG% (39.0), 37.5 3PT% (26.3).

Advanced stats, season: 8.1 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 45.3 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 18.6 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Up

Noted: Ennis was much better -- and closer to the player Milwaukee hoped it was getting -- this week than last. Known as a conservative player who doesn't make a lot of mistakes, he was much more careful with the ball, totaling eight assists to four turnovers (2.0 ratio) in this edition of the Tracker, compared to five-to-six (0.83) last week. Ennis is very young and was hardly playing at all in Phoenix, so his unspectacular and sometimes erratic play is to be expected; in the Bucks' rotation, 12 to 15 minutes of methodical, low-turnover ball a night would be a useful output from him.

JOHN HENSON (age 24, third season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 22.5 minutes (18.3), 12.3 points (7.5), 5.8 rebounds (4.4), 0.8 assists (0.9), 1.8 blocks (1.9), 1.3 steals (0.4), 59.4 FG% (58.3), 0.0 3PT% (0.0).

Advanced stats, season: 18.8 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 60.7 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 17.1 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Up

Noted: Henson had a big night (21 points, nine rebounds) in the romp over the 76ers, then came back down to earth -- which, for him, is about 10 points and five rebounds a game. With the right matchup, Henson can be very effective -- playing great defense, blocking a few shots, cleaning up the glass and getting some easy baskets at the rim off of athletic rolls, dives and offensive rebounds. On a nightly basis, though, Milwaukee probably can't depend on him to put up more than 10 and five with a couple blocks in about 20 minutes off the bench. That's valuable, though, for the role he's currently playing and for which he's being paid.

KHRIS MIDDLETON (age 23, third season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 34.8 minutes (28.0), 16.8 points (12.1), 6.5 rebounds (4.5), 3.8 assists (2.1), 0.5 blocks (0.2), 1.0 steals (1.6), 44.3 FG% (47.0), 42.9 3PT% (41.9).

Advanced stats, season: 16.2 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 56.6 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 17.9 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Up

Noted: Middleton continues to be the primary beneficiary of the Knight trade, seeing his statistics rise along with his increased expectations. His points, rebounds and assists per game have all gone up more than proportionally compared to the corresponding uptick in minutes played, while his shooting has remained very good. Middleton has resisted trying to do too much or becoming a player he isn't (at least not yet) despite becoming the offensive focal point for the Bucks, continuing to take and make open outside shots and playing active defense. Still, he could stand to attack the basket a little bit more -- in two games this week, he played more than 34 minutes yet didn't shoot a single free throw.

MILES PLUMLEE (age 26, third season)

Statistical averages, past week (season): 7.3 minutes (17.9), 2.0 points (4.2), 1.3 rebounds (4.8), 0.3 assists (0.5), 1.0 blocks (1.0), 0.3 steals (0.6), 30.0 FG% (53.5), 0.0 3PT% (0.0).

Advanced stats, season: 13.2 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 53.8 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 17.1 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Down

Noted: After a busy initial week following the trade, Plumlee's minutes dropped way down, as did the rest of his numbers, in this Tracker. He has replaced Johnny O'Bryant in the Bucks' big-man rotation and, though he's certainly an upgrade over the second-round rookie, he's not producing much more than him. He's active, athletic and good on defense, rebounding and blocking shots well when he's on the court, but he doesn't give Milwaukee much of anything in the post. Perhaps, for now, he doesn't need to.

Did not play due to injury or coach's decision

DAMIEN INGLIS (age 19, first season)

JOHNNY O'BRYANT (age 21, first season): Played three minutes on Feb. 28, totaling one rebound.

JABARI PARKER (age 19, first season)

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