UA-59049186-1 NBA Team Preview: Milwaukee Bucks - Good if it Goes

NBA Team Preview: Milwaukee Bucks


Draft Picks: 10. PF. Thon Maker, 36. SG. Malcolm Brogdon

Key Acquisitions: PG. Matthew Dellavedova, SF. Michael Beasley, PF. Mirza Teletovic

Key Losses: PG. Jerryd Bayless, SG. OJ Mayo,

Player Profiles

Projected Lineup

PG. Matthew Dellavedova: 6’4, 198

  • 3 and D combo guard that makes his NBA living with his work ethic.
  • Offensively, despite being a PG, he plays a ton without the ball and for good reason. He doesn’t have the greatest handle and isn’t a very good athlete. However, he can really shoot the ball and has good instincts for moving without the basketball and getting open.
  • Competes as hard as anyone in the league on defense. Will fight through or around every single screen and be a nuisance to any offensive player all night.

SG. Rashad Vaughn: 6’6, 202

  • 2nd-year player looking to improve off a disappointing rookie year.
  • Coming out of college was touted for his outside shooting ability and it just didn’t translate having to shoot from the further NBA 3 point line. More than half of his FG attempts were from 3 and he shot only 29% from deep. He doesn’t have the handle or quickness to create much space or drive by people.
  • A combination of average athleticism and simply being a rookie led to a pretty predictable year of poor play on the defensive end.

SF. Giannis Antetokounmpo: 6’11, 222

  • He’s the Greek Freak for a reason. Positionless player whose combination of skills and size hasn’t been seen before.
  • At his best with the ball in his hands playing “point whatever,” guard, forward, etc it doesn’t matter just put the ball in his hands at let him run the offense. He’s extremely dangerous leading the fast break and is improving his half court game. His jumpshot is still highly suspect and a work in progress but he’s displayed really good vision and passing ability for a guy his size.
  • Can be highly disruptive, but might be too long to contain smaller guards as an on-ball defender. Needs to defend wings. Still young and immature as a defender making mistakes or falling asleep at times.

PF. Jabari Parker: 6’8, 250

  • Strong, physically imposing combo forward that only plays on 1 end at this point.
  • Has the potential to be an elite scorer 1 day. Can post and play with his back to the basket, face up and penetrate or shoot it. Handles the ball extremely well for a guy his size and though his outside jump shot is a work in progress the mechanics appear to be good enough to expect improvement.
  • 2 position player on offense that isn’t capable of defending either position on defense. Too stiff and doesn’t move laterally well when defending on the perimeter and he just doesn’t have the length to be an impact player defensively as a big.

C. Miles Plumlee: 6’11, 250

  • Athletic big man that crashes the offensive boards and is highly efficient offensively
  • Rim runner and lob threat that finishes at a high percentage around the basket.
  • Not the quickest twitch athlete, but he can move a little and has very good leaping ability for a 7 footer which allows him to succeed as a shot blocker.


C. Greg Monroe: 6’11, 265

  • Lefty, below the rim big man that thrives offensively in the post.
  • 1 of the few big men left in the game that can just set up on the block and utilize post moves to score on a consistent basis.
  • He has his flaws defensively no doubt – the biggest being the lack of rim protection he provides and his lack of mobility. However, overall he’s better on that end than he’s often giving credit for as he often battles when tested down low and has a high steal rate.

SF. Michael Beasley: 6’10, 235

  • Scoring combo forward that rejuvenated his career after a stint in China away from the NBA.
  • It was a very small sample size but he was highly effective and efficient last year. He’s still a very skilled offensive player that handles the ball well for a guy his size and he can shoot it off the dribble.
  • After all these years, nothing has really changed on the defensive end, he still isn’t playing very much of it.

PG. Michael Carter-Williams: 6’6, 190

  • Huge PG that can impact the game in various ways.
  • Offensively, he doesn’t shoot the ball well at all and it affects his overall ability to score but Williams is capable of putting up some points and he’s a decent playmaker.
  • Took a step back defensively from the previous year, but still wasn’t bad by any stretch. He’s incredibly long and active and just seems to have a knack for getting his hands on balls.

PF. Mirza Teletovic: 6’9, 242

  • Short stretch 4 whose shooting ability enables him to be an important cog in a rotation as a 3 point specialist.
  • This dude can really shoot it. He attempted nearly 10 3s per 36 minutes last season and hit just under 40% of them. To put that in perspective only Steph Curry attempted more per 36 minutes.
  • Doesn’t do much of anything  else on the floor. He’s terrible rebounder, he doesn’t play defense, he’s pretty much just on the floor to shoot 3s.

SG. Jason Terry: 6’2, 185

  • Undersized veteran 2 guard who’s surprisingly still very effective and can still help a team offensively in limited minutes.  
  • Crazy efficient from the field from 2 given his size and age. Made 50% of his 2s and shot 65% at the rim. However over 70% of his shot attempts are 3 point attempts where he shot a less impressive but still respectable 35%.
  • Just too old and little to be anything more than a liability on defense at this point in his career.

PF. John Henson: 6’11, 230

  • Lean, mobile big man that can excels at blocking shots and finishing around the rim and struggles on the glass.
  • Not a very physical big man but can finish when he gets the opportunity and isn’t faced with having to finish through much contact. Much too small and weak to effectively score in the paint even if he did have any viable post moves (which he doesn’t).
  • Elite shot blocker. Only Hassan Whiteside blocked more shots per 36 minutes. Overall his thin frame allows him to be scored on and moved around in the interior.

SG. Malcolm Brogdon: 6’5, 215

  • Rookie 2nd-rounder who comes in with an impressive defensive reputation hungry for an opportunity to make the final roster.
  • Offensive game is highly limited. Shot the 3 well in college but may not shoot it from NBA range as well. Will not be able to create for himself at the NBA level due to average athleticism and mediocre ball handling skills.
  • Elite defensive player who has the measurables and the mentality to shut people down. Even without elite athleticism the effort he brings on a nightly basis and a 6’10 wingspan should be more than enough for him to find success on the defensive end.

PF. Steve Novak: 6’10, 225

  • Veteran 3 point specialist who helped usher in the stretch 4 era.
  • His job whenever he’s on the floor is literally to stand behind the 3 point line and occupy a defender to help space the floor. If his man leaves him and he gets the ball the result is usually he burns the opposing team for 3 points.
  • Defensively this guy is 1 of the worst in the league. If there was an all-worst defensive team he’d surely be on it.


SG. Khris Middleton: 6’8, 235 (out 6 months with torn hamstring)

  • Underrated all-star caliber 2-way wing player who’s quietly become a top 5 SG.
  • Offensively he can do a little of everything. Shoots the 3 well as both a spot up shooter and on the move, he can handle the ball a little and is comfortable making plays for others and playing in the PnR and continues to improve as a scorer.
  • Had a down year on defense most likely due to increased responsibilities on offense. But he’s still a massive wing player that can utilize his size to have an impact on that end.



The Bucks were dealt a shocking blow before training camp even got going, losing one of their top players in Khris Middleton for 6 months to a torn hamstring. With that injury, everything has been thrown out of whack as we no longer know who is going to start at the SG position. To start training camp, 2nd-year man Rashad Vaughn is getting the 1st-team reps. Head coach Jason Kidd will give the team’s 2015 1st-round pick every opportunity to win the job. However, he wasn’t very good in his rookie season nor did he play well in this year’s summer league so I’m skeptical about his ability to be a starting NBA SG. But then you look at the roster and say what other options do they have? Jason Terry is just too old to be a starter and Brogdon is a 2nd round pick rookie who is probably too limited on offense right now. They could play some players out of position like maybe moving Dellavedova to the off guard spot and starting MCW. Or they could move the Greek Freak to the off guard and start Beasley. But Kidd desperately wants to be a better shooting team this year and play with more spacing on offense and Vaughn probably gives them the best chance to do that, even though he didn’t shoot it well from 3 in his rookie year.  


As for the rest of the lineup – I really like it. Dellavedova is going to technically start as the listed PG but the Greek Freak is going to be the 1 running the show as the point forward. Delly is a true 3 and d guard that will help the Bucks improve in 2 areas they were weakest a year ago which was defense and 3 point shooting. Parker at the 4 won’t be used as a traditional PF as he might be the team’s best pure scorer this upcoming season. They’ll give him the ball and let him attempt to take advantage of mismatches against bigger slower defenders. Right now Plumlee is penciled in as the starting center but who knows if that will hold up with two other viable options in Monroe and Henson behind him. Plumlee’s shot blocking and efficiency on offense should be a good fit with the other four guys.


The Bucks’ bench appears to be loaded. In the backcourt they’ve got a guy in Carter-Williams who should thrive at PG playing against other teams 2’s and a veteran in Jason Terry who despite his age in limited minutes will be able to outsmart a lot of the competition. Their 2nd unit frontcourt is loaded headed up by Greg Monroe, who is 1 of the better low post scorers in the NBA and will be asked to carry the scoring load for the 2nd unit. And then there’s Michael Beasley who who put up points in bunches off the bench for the Rockets a year ago and will do the same here. Newcomer Mirza Televetovic is a 3-point sniper who will help space the floor and give MCW and Monroe room to work. And if anybody is hurt or gets in foul trouble they have specialist in John Henson (shot blocking) and Steve Novak (shooting) ready to come in and contribute with what they do best.




The loss of Khris Middleton for 6 months was absolutely huge and will most likely kill any hopes the Bucks had of being a top 4 seed. However, my expectations for the Bucks is still to make the playoffs. Even though they will not be as high of seed as they might have been with Middleton playing all year, he is scheduled to return near the last month of the regular season where he could potentially use that time to get himself in shape and ready to go for the postseason. So the Bucks could end up being a more dangerous team around playoff time than they showed during the regular season. Even without Middleton, the Bucks are still a good team. They have an elite bench filled with NBA starting-caliber players, which will simply allow them to dominate opposing teams’ benches. As for the when the starters are in I expect Giannis and Parker to step up and take their games up a notch, which will help keep this Bucks team afloat.


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