The temperature in Wisconsin has fallen significantly in recent days, but not as much as Greivis Vasquez's shooting percentages.
Vasquez's early season numbers haven't resembled a player known as a scorer and shooter, especially one the Milwaukee Bucks traded a future first-round pick for on draft night. Through seven games, Vasquez has connected on an abysmal 22.4 percent of his shots overall and just 13.8 percent from deep. It's a small sample size, of course, but Vasquez's performance Saturday night in Milwaukee's win against the Brooklyn Nets didn't do anything to warm his game up.
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The 6-foot-6 guard had the worst shooting night of his career in the Bucks' latest win, failing to knock down a single shot against the Nets (0-of-10, 0-for-7 from three), just five days after missing all eight of his shots against the Nets in Brooklyn. It's all rather shocking to see from a guy who shot 41 percent from the field and 38 percent from deep last season, and unfortunately there's been no indication of a breakout just yet.
So why is he struggling with his shot? We know it's not because of age, health or talent. Never known to be afraid of big moments, his confidence must be there given he hasn't stopped shooting the ball. And even with Vasquez struggling with his shot, it's important to note that he's still averaging 7.0 assists and just 2.4 turnovers per 36 minutes while registering a +33 differential over the Bucks' last three games. If there's a silver lining to Vasquez's struggles, it's that they haven't prevented the Bucks from winning four straight games.
"I think my shots will come at the right time." Vasquez said when I talked to him after the game. "I'd rather struggle right now than later on. I'm struggling with my shot, but it'll come.
"Imagine when my shot starts falling? It's really going to help our team tremendously. Everything happens for a reason ... I've been through these struggles before.
"I was in the right spots, I'm adjusting to a good system and now I'm seeing how this is going to work."
His attempts have been good looks for the most part, too. The majority of Vasquez's missed shots seem to be bouncing off the back iron or rolling off the rim.
"I took like 10 shots today," Vasquez said, "but I had seven or eight that were wide open and some of them were in and out. It's part of the game. To play in this league, you've got to be tough-minded."
Jason Kidd has dealt with players on his roster going through rough shooting patches before, with Ersan Ilyasova being the most recent example. Kidd is preaching the same message to Vasquez he gave to his former stretch-four.
"For me, it's not to panic," Kidd said, "but he's a vet, he understands he has shoot his way through this.
"He's taking great looks that are in and out. We're going to keep telling him to shoot, his teammates are telling him to keep shooting."
The lone point Vasquez registered on Saturday came at the charity stripe following a technical foul on Bojan Bogdanovic. Relived that something actually went in, he gathered a hard sigh while glancing towards a row of courtside fans. Finally.
Vasquez remains confident he'll shake his funk eventually and has his eyes set on helping Milwaukee reach the playoffs for the second straight season.
"You stay within the course. For me, it's about winning and we're 4-3 after we started off slow. It's not like I'm going to sit down and chill. We haven't even played our best basketball, we're still trying to glue."