Bucks’ Parker’s game blooming in April
The Milwaukee Bucks are getting healthy right in time for the playoffs.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has missed a couple of games with ankle soreness, and Matthew Dellavedova, out since February due to a sprained ankle, both playing in the regular-season finale Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Malcolm Brogdon made his return from a torn quad tendon Monday, having missed over two months.
Jabari Parker played his first game of the season right around the time both Brogdon and Delly were hurt. Coming back from his second torn ACL, Parker is getting into a groove with the postseason approaching.
In February and March, Parker averaged 11.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists over 22.1 minutes and making 35.1 percent of his 3-point attempts. But since the calendar flipped to April, Parker’s production has increased greatly.
In the last five games, beginning April 1 at Denver, Parker is averaging 18.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists and making 45.5 percent of his 3 attempts. He’s also averaging 33.5 minutes per game, having eclipsed 30+ minutes in four of the five contests, with the exception being Monday’s 16-point win over Orlando when he played 28 1/2 minutes.
With Antetokounmpo and Brogdon healthy, Eric Bledsoe playing at the top of his game, Khris Middleton averaging a career-high 20.3 points (21.1 ppg since March) and Parker finally playing like he did before his injury, perhaps the Bucks might be a tough out in the playoffs after all.
— We noted Middleton’s increased production since March above. Milwaukee averaged 104.9 points before March and 112.0 since. The 7.1-point increase is the third-highest in the NBA over that span, behind Miami (+8.6) and Wednesday’s opponent, Philadelphia (+7.8).
— The Bucks are 13-4 against the 76ers since the 2013-14 season, their best winning percentage against any team over that span. Milwaukee is 6-2 at Philadelphia in that time period, tied for the best road record vs. an Eastern Conference team (also: Brooklyn).
— Bledsoe is +2.8 in plus-minus per game with the Bucks, the highest of any Milwaukee player this season.
Statistics courtesy STATS and basketball-reference