We’re at the last installment of our Ranking the Roster series, and in this piece, we break down the bigs. If this is your first time seeing the series, make sure to check out the other other editions of the wings and guards.
Here’s how you all voted for the bigs:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Brook Lopez
- Bobby Portis
- DJ Wilson
There really isn’t too much shocking with these results. We all pretty much know what we’re going to get with the talent at these positions and how they’re going to impact the Bucks. Regardless, let’s take a look at these players one by one and look at what they bring to the table.
This is a no brainer. The back-to-back MVP, an All Star phenom, and so, so much more — the Greek Freak is the heart and soul of this Bucks squad. The Bucks will go as far as Giannis will take them. His success in the postseason is crucial. God forbid if any injury occurs to Antetokounmpo, the Bucks will go into a downspiral. The one part of Giannis’ game that I think may be the most important? His free throw shooting. We’re all distraught by it. It seems nearly impossible for him to go two-for-two at the charity stripe, and unfortunately, the chances of him air-balling an attempt are higher than Bucks fans would like to admit. Supposedly he’s worked on an alternative free throw shooting method during the offseason, but this will likely take some time to develop and be implemented. It will be something to keep an eye on throughout the early stages of the season, as it could hinge the success the Bucks have down the stretch and in the playoffs.
We all know the type of impact that Brook Lopez can bring to this team, on both ends of the floor. We saw more of his defensive success last year, as his 3-point percentage dropped from 36.5% in 2019 to 31.4% per 36 min. in 2020. First, let’s talk about the defensive side of Brook. He’s always the final part of the obstacle course that is the Bucks defense and is awaiting opponents at the rim. His 2.4 blocks per game were the most in his career, and it got him some Defensive Player of the Year consideration (which, was ultimately won by his teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo). The part of Lopez’s game that could really determine things is his 3-point shooting. I mentioned the fall-off it had in 2020 compared to 2019. If he’s able to put up those numbers and brings back the X-Factor style of play with his shooting that he did in the 2019 playoffs, Milwaukee will be tough to knock off.
Every team seems to have a player that everybody gravitates towards and latches on to. So far out of the gates, Bobby Portis seems to fit that mold. He’s energetic. He’s wild. He brings it — no matter what. He’s averaged double digit points for the last five years, dating back to when he was a member of the Chicago Bulls. Last year as a member of the Knicks, he contributed with 10.1 PPG and 5.1 RBG. Pair that with the energy he exhibits and things could fit quite nicely with this Bucks squad. We all know how fast the Bucks like to run down the floor, and Portis will fit quite nicely in that aspect. In addition to being the favorite of the fans off the court, his antics may shine on the court as well.
Is there a more interesting story arc than DJ Wilson? A zero to hero then back to zero, DJ has played with the hearts of Bucks fans (with a revolution of #FreeDJ avatars mixed in there). While he doesn’t bring much to the table with his offense, the key part of his game to watch will be the defensive efforts. He’s entering a contract year, so perhaps that will incentivize him to put things into high gear once again. If things do click for him on the defensive end, this Bucks team becomes much more dangerous. However, that’s a big if. There may not be a player who has been more inconsistent than Wilson on this roster, and he has to be given the opportunity to shine by Budenholzer first. However, due to the uniqueness of this season and with how short the preseason is, there’s a chance that the Bucks may rely on Wilson’s efforts. It will be very welcomed if he’s able to resurrect his lockdown mentality.
And that concludes our series! Thanks for playing along with the truncated version this year and be ready for the full-scale project to return for next year.
Have any thoughts on how the poll wrapped up? Let us know in the comments below!