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Three Bs: Brandon Jennings

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Brew Hoop’s entirely subjective and emotionally-driven 2017-18 Milwaukee Bucks season player evaluations. For this series, we wanted to look at each current Buck and ask three questions: what they do that helps (Boon), what they do that hurts (Bane), and whether they ought to be on this team (Belonging).

I had a cool logo featuring a trio of Bs, but got a “cease and desist” notice from a lawyer wearing $200 flip flops. Oh well. Today, we’re looking at Milwaukee’s swaggiest prodigal son, Brandon Jennings.

Season Stats (per 36 minutes – rank at position)

  • Points/36: 12.8 (63rd among point guards)
  • FGA/36: 12.6 (45th among point guards)
  • 3Pt%: 0.273 (80th among point guards)
  • Assists/36: 7.7 (15th among point guards)
  • Turnovers/36: 3.2 (19th among point guards)

Brandon’s Boon: Decisiveness

Speed has long been one of the defining characteristics of Brandon Jennings, going all the way back to the start of his NBA career, as a Bucks draftee who played in Italy instead of going through the NCAA. His physical quickness was (and even still is) a major asset for his continued NBA existence, but it’s his quick-trigger mentally is what allows him to still make major contributions on the court. If a teammate is open, the pass is going out; if a shot window is open, the attempt is going up. Acting decisively, particularly as a tertiary contributor on this Bucks team, is what keeps things moving; during his short-lived return to Milwaukee, Jennings has been able to do just that.

Brandon’s Bane: Decision-Making

There’s a fine line between “confident” and “reckless,” and Jennings finds himself zigging and zagging across that line with gusto. Quick decisions are awesome...when they’re the right ones. Often enough, midrange pull-ups or off-balance threes end possessions prematurely, and Jennings physical limitations prevent him from exploring other avenues the way that other guards can. As always, Brandon Jennings is capable of shooting your team out of, or back into, any game at any time, but his track record shows that the latter is less common than the former.

Does Brandon Belong?

During his brief time with the Bucks this season, Jennings was a breath of fresh air. He is demonstrably quicker than either Matthew Dellavedova or Malcolm Brogdon, and he frequently makes decisions with the ball faster than Eric Bledsoe. As a fringe NBA player who found his way “home” via the G-League, Jennings’ comeback has been a great story for fans and, honestly, the best case scenario for his career. In limited minutes, Jennings has been fun, plain and simple, and seems like a low risk/low reward flier at a position of need. However, his erratic shooting accuracy and uninspiring defensive chops will relegate him to the end of the bench next year (if he is retained at all), and it will be up to Jennings himself if that role is worth sticking around in Milwaukee.