Bucks

DiVincenzo Budding Right Before Our Eyes

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The pressure was on the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason. They needed to lock up their star and needed to improve the talent around him.

Moments after trading for the Jrue Holiday, news came down the Bucks were also set to acquire Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Bucks would send Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and DJ Wilson to the Kings for Bogdanovic. Conversely, the trade wasn’t agreed to by the Sacramento shooting guard. The Bucks would later be charged with tampering and the deal ultimately fell apart.

Fast forward and the Bucks could be thankful the Bogdanovic deal dissolved. Why? DiVincenzo’s game looks like its taken a leap.

DiVincenzo’s leap key for Bucks

The Jrue Holiday deal for the Bucks is really about the postseason. The truth is, the regular season isn’t the barometer for the Bucks. It’s all about the playoffs.

The Holiday deal serves a huge purpose as a reliable third scorer replacing Bledsoe’s disappearing act. But the reliable three-point shooting of the Bucks’ role players also disappeared come playoff time.

Perhaps one of the most exciting reasons for optimism this go-round will be different for the Bucks is one of the players who was supposed to be shipped out: Donte DiVincenzo. The Big Ragu has been saucy thus far in 2020-’21.

DiVincenzo after shooting 33.6 percent from three a year ago has come out sizzling this season, hitting 19-of-30 3s this year. Will he shoot over 63 percent from three this year? Certainly not. But if he can be a consistent threat from deep, that is a huge boon for the Bucks offense.

I don’t think anyone expected the Bucks to have no growing pains getting acclimated to each other after a roster makeover in the offseason. But if DiVincenzo is a legit threat from 3 it is vital. Why?

Quality over quantity

One reason DiVincenzo’s stock rising is so important is the Bucks have sacrificed depth for quality with their offseason moves. The growth from a player within the organization is vital for the Bucks to be a championship team. With the Holiday deal sending Eric Bledsoe and George Hill out the Bucks are more dependent on fewer players. The cap situation has taken a toll on the Bucks’ depth.

The Bucks hope the need for a dependable third scorer was solved with Jrue Holiday come playoff time.

If DiVincenzo is playing and shooting at this level to compliment the Big 3 and Lopez, suddenly the Bucks look a lot stronger come playoff time. The Bucks’ depth was a strong asset, but consistency wasn’t there for role players. I know it is only six games, but Donte has scored in double figures in every game thus far. Those six straight games of scoring in double figures is a career-high. Consistent play from role players along with Donte gaining confidence as a knock-down three-point shooter would be insanely valuable.

The Bucks could focus on the buyout market to fill their remaining bench holes and still look like potential championship contenders.

Despite the 3-3 start for Milwaukee perhaps the most glaring hole for the Bucks – a reliable fifth starter not just in the regular season but the playoffs could to be filled. Luckily for the Bucks, Donte wasn’t moved in the offseason, but instead is flourishing in Milwaukee.

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About Mitchell Skurzewski

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