Milwaukee Bucks: 3 reasons why the Bucks are better than last season

Milwaukee Bucks Donte DiVincenzo (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks Donte DiVincenzo (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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NBA Milwaukee Bucks
NBA Milwaukee Bucks Donte DiVincenzo (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Donte DiVincenzo, ultimate glue-guy

Last season, there was potentially some mild disdain for Donte Divincenzo. His slow start during his rookie season (which can be slightly attributed to health issues) sparked the narrative of him being the next “March Madness showman” who got drafted too high thanks to a championship run at the college level.

This season, anything left of that false narrative can now officially be put to rest. That’s because Donte has seen immense improvement this season. He’s gone from unpolished rookie to surging sophomore; now he’s one of the most important players on the top team in the league.

Every successful team needs a “glue-guy;” the player who makes his impact beyond the box score and does all the dirty work. They’re hustle players, and Donte is that to the most-elite degree.

Donte’s energy and presence on both ends of the floor just make Milwaukee better. You can feel that when watching (his constant engagement is admirable), and you can feel that in the numbers.

When Donte is on the floor the Bucks score (per 100 possessions) 10.7 more points then they let up. That’s good to place him in the top 7 percent of the league and – on a squad that holds the MVP front runner – that leads the team.

What’s the cause of this? Donte’s hustle. When he’s on the floor Milwaukee’s offensive rebound percentage increases by 6.2 percent (top 4 percent of the league; elite company). He increases their defense’s turnover percentage by 3.5 percent (top 3 percent of the league).

Let’s highlight Donte’s hustle even more, shall we? Milwaukee’s putbacks per 100 possessions increase by 6.8 percent when he’s on the floor (placing him in the top 2 percent of the league. And when he’s playing, the team plays a set defense 3.8 percent less of the time (only second to Giannis); he’s hustle, defined.

In only his second year as a pro, Donte’s doing important work for a team with big championship aspirations. His fast development has been key for the Bucks this season. The next step he needs to take is in his shooting; luckily, he has the perfect “improvement model” in his fellow veteran teammate, George Hill.