Power Ranking The Bucks’ Bench


With the Bucks just recently passing the halfway point of the season, it seems like a good time to assess what their bench has to offer. The Bucks are currently on top of the Eastern Conference and are poised to lock in a top four seed for the first time in 18 years. Every night, you know what you will get from Giannis, Khris, Brogdon, Bledsoe and Brook, but how do the guys on the bench stack up against each other?

The Bottom of the Barrel: (12-11)

T11. Bonzie Colson (PF) & Trevon Duval (PG)

Not much to say about either of these guys. They will play in garbage time if at all. Bonzie Colson is another bigger body to have on the bench and Trevon Duval has been known to be an explosive guard. There just isn’t room for them unless injuries arise.

Too Much Depth to Get Significant Minutes (10-8)

10. Jason Smith (PF)

Jason Smith coming over from the Wizards is basically coming here to sit on the bench and be a veteran presence. He won’t ever see the floor in a regular role this year, but he is a small contract and a great personality for the Bucks’ bench mob. You love him as a guy, but he leaves more to be desired as a player.

9. Christian Wood (C)

This is a guy that I wish wasn’t on the Bucks. Not because he isn’t good, but because he is SO good. He has torn up the G-League this year, averaging 27.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. It’s a shame Budenholzer refuses to suit him up when other guys are getting rest, because playing him won’t make the Bucks any worse. He needs to get away from the depth of Milwaukee if he wants to play.

8. Donte DiVincenzo (SG)

Donte needs more time. That is all I can say about him. It is obvious to see that he is athletic and his game will grow. Bucks fans need to be patient so that his shot and game can adapt to the NBA. DJ Wilson is a great example of why patience is key with these young guys.

Supporting the Supporting Cast (7-5)

7. Pat Connaughton (SG)

This ranking means that Pat Connaughton is the seventh best guy on the Bucks bench. That’s nuts! In Portland the last few years, he would have been one of the first two or three guys off the bench. His greatest ability is to defend more prominent players and affect team’s outside shooting on defense. Being the seventh best player on the Bucks bench isn’t all that bad because Coach Budenholzer likes to use his bench. Pat could be an important piece in the Bucks’ playoff push.

6. Thon Maker (C)

Thon has been a spark for the Bucks ever since he joined the team back in 2016. He continues to do that this year by playing spirited defense and hustling all over the floor. While he may not put up the type of numbers the Bucks had in mind when they drafted him, he sure gets the team excited and changes the dynamic of the game when he’s in. Maker plays a much more aggressive style of defense than Brook Lopez and still has the ability to stretch the floor like Lopez, as he is shooting 33% from three this year.

5. Tony Snell (SG)

Averaging only 17.5 minutes per game for the Bucks this season, Tony Snell has seen a diminished role since the departure of Jason Kidd (down 10 minutes per game from last year). It is interesting to see that this smaller role has not changed his output much. Tony still averages nearly 40% from three-point range this season and is only down 0.5 points per game this season. His defense will always be useful for the Bucks and it seems like Giannis really likes to play with him.

The Bench Ballers (4-1)

4. DJ Wilson (PF/C)

DJ has been quite the story this year for the Bucks. For someone to go from buried on the bench to a regular contributor in his first two years is very impressive. He continues to play spirited defense while knocking down corner three’s and runners in the lane with great efficiency. In fact, he scored a career high 13 points in 22 minutes in Memphis. His presence has provided the Bucks a great spark this season!

3. Sterling Brown (SG)

It’s great to see the role the draft class of 2017 has played in Milwaukee’s success this season. Jon Horst has done an unbelievable job drafting in the second round. Sterling is starting to become a prominent sixth man for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has sparked runs with his gritty defense and great outside shooting. Behind Malcolm Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe, Sterling may have the next best first step to the basket out of all the Bucks guards. He has become a fun player to watch and his minutes continue to increase with his increased production.

2. George Hill (PG/SG)

George Hill was a great mid-season acquisition. His ability to run the floor, play both on and off the ball, and defend primary ball handlers when Bledsoe is not in the game make him extremely valuable. He has plenty of experience in the league and is very comfortable in the Budenholzer system. He will be a very important leader as the Bucks move deeper into the season.


1. Ersan Ilyasova (PF/C)

At $7 million annually over the next three years, I was very skeptical of his signing this offseason. However, Jon Horst has proved my skepticism wrong again! Ersan plays his role better than anyone on the Bucks’ bench. Leading the NBA in charges taken this season, Ilyasova has been a court general on defense and affects a lot of shots around the rim. He continues to set a lot of great screens and fits the offense well with his extended range. Ersan has truly been a difference maker this year.

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