Bucks

Where Does Nwora Fit With a Healthy Bucks Team?

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It can be hard to temper expectations when it comes to young players.

Jordan Nwora didn’t get rotational minutes in his rookie year. Bucks fans hope that changes this season.

With Donte DiVincenzo and others out with injuries to start the 2021-22 season, Nwora has received regular rotation minutes in the early portion of the new campaign. Nwora shined against star-studded Brooklyn in the season opener, scoring 15 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes.

The Louisville product added a memorable block of Kevin Durant leading to a transition 3-pointer for Grayson Allen. Deemed unplayable last year due to defensive deficiencies, the block likely goes further to future playing-time possibilities in the eyes of coach Mike Budenholzer than his scoring abilities.

So what are the future prospects of Nwora this year? Let’s take a look.

Are his big minutes sustainable?

The Bucks were without three rotation players to start the year. DiVincenzo, Bobby Portis and Semi Ojeleye all were out due to injuries, with Portis and Ojeleye making their season debuts in Game 4 of the season.

Those three also missed the entire preseason, allowing Nwora to get significant playing time in tune-up games. He emerged as a realistic piece to the rotation, averaging 27 points per 36 minutes and shooting 14-for-34 (41%) from three-point range in the preseason.

Nwora seemingly has the deepest offensive bag of any Buck perimeter bench player. The Bucks have been hit with the injury bug this year and badly need Nwora’s bench scoring. He helped end a three-game losing streak with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists against Detroit on Tuesday.

His averages compute to 9.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He hasn’t shot the ball well thus far (<32% from deep), but that will rise.

Another attribute Nwora has over every other perimeter bench player in the rotation is size (other than Rodney Hood). Connaughton (6-5), George Hill (6-4), DiVincenzo/Allen (both 6-4) are all 6-5 or smaller. Nwora is 6-8 and can guard taller players and be a stretch-four type offensively with the Bucks not having many true backup bigs.

What do future minutes look like for Nwora?

The second-year forward is likely to continue seeing rotation minutes to the delight of many fans, but expect shrinking minutes going forward as the Bucks get healthy. Nwora has played over 20 minutes each game so far– 15 minutes or less is more common with a full squad.

Either way, many Bucks fans are intrigued by Nwora. The hope is he continues to get significant minutes even when the Bucks’ injured players return, so he is allowed to grow into a larger role moving forward.

Whether he gets major playing time or not, Nwora has already proven to be a steal of a second-round pick and is just another reason to Fear the Deer.

Follow us on Twitter @BucksLead for the latest Bucks news and insight. 

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About Mitchell Skurzewski

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