You voted and made your voices heard. Thank you to everybody who participated in our Ranking the Roster: Guards Edition. In this piece, we’ll break down how you all voted and the results at hand, providing some insight and explore the importance each player has to Milwaukee’s postseason success.
Here is a rundown of how the voting concluded. We’ll dive into this in further detail in a few moments:
- Jrue Holiday
- Donte DiVincenzo
- DJ Augustin
- Pat Connaughton
- Sam Merrill
There were some interesting nuggets that came out of the voting information, with the main one being who is the 2nd most important Buck. Ultimately, it was decided that Donte fit that, but it was the closest one.
As for my personal order? Great minds think alike, and while it’d be nice to have a different viewpoint for the sake of conversation, I can’t disagree with you, the readers!
There’s not much surprise here. Holiday was the biggest splash the Bucks made in the offseason, as they sent three firsts and two swaps to New Orleans for him. Looking at what Holiday brings to the table, it all boils down to how he performs in the playoffs. His predecessor in Eric Bledsoe was never able to have things come to fruition when it mattered the most, and ultimately, it’s what made the Bucks decide to move on from him. Not only does Holiday bring a scoring presence that can take the pressure off of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, his perimeter defense will really shine. Holiday is constantly heralded as one of the game’s top defenders. Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard have both made their thoughts known. If he can bring a re-vamped style of play at the point guard position come the playoffs, Milwaukee will be in a much better situation this time around than in previous seasons.
This is going to be a crucial year for Donte DiVincenzo. After the whole Bogdan Bogdanovic situation collapsed, there’s a strong likelihood that the Big Ragu will make his way into the Bucks’ starting five this season. After injuries riddled his rookie campaign, Donte showed some flashes of what his potential could shape out to be during his sophomore campaign. His speed and awareness were what stood out the most from his play last year, as he put it on display numerous times with his anticipations of passes and shooting through holes to get his fingertips on the basketball. However, the question that will be answered this year will be how DiVincenzo responds to more experience. In the playoffs, he didn’t take the leap that Bucks fans were hoping he would. If he can build on the flashes he provided last year and establish a respectable presence from deep, DiVincenzo will be able to serve as the playoff utility knife that the organization and fans want him to be.
A fantastic addition to the Bucks, Augustin will be welcomed to the Milwaukee roster. Looking at the Bucks’ point guard position this year compared to last year is just night and day. Obviously, you have Holiday in the starting slot, but Augustin is a formidable backup. Boasting a versatile game in the fact that he’s strong with the PnR and can also put up a solid shot from beyond the arc off the dribble, he will surely prove to be an igniter with the bench mob. I also think that the part of Augustin’s game that will be appreciated by the Bucks the most is his consistency. You know that you’ll receive a solid effort night in and night out, and that he can be trusted to do his job. Steadiness is always appreciated, especially when the playoffs roll around.
This was where I nearly differed with the voters — flip flopping Connaughton with Augustin. The main reason is solely due to the contract, but I figured I shouldn’t let that thwart this piece, which is looking at the most important Bucks with this year’s in playoffs mind. Looking at it from that perspective, Connaughton’s shooting and consistency in the playoffs is what will make or break this season. Obviously, he’ll be on thin ice with many Bucks fans who disagreed with his signing. However, if he can mold his 3-point shooting into a consistent threat, that will be something that can get him back into the good graces of fans. He only scored double digits once in the 2020 Playoffs, and yet, he seemed to be Budenholzer’s guy off the bench. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a repeat of that preference this season, and Pat’s consistency will really be the tipping point on whether or not it will be a success.
Obviously, Sam Merrill has the least pressure on his shoulders out of the players in the guard position. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to contribute to the Bucks this season. A sharpshooter at Utah State (a career 42% 3-point shooter and 89% from the free throw line), Merrill could gel right out of the gates with this Milwaukee offense. He also has a strong awareness with the pick and roll, and has a sharp awareness of where teammates are at on the floor, boasting the ability to make the right pass. With an offense that has Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, that well-rounded offensive style will be really hum along nicely.
And that concludes the breakdown of the guards! Stay tuned as we go through wings and bigs next. Go fill out the poll below to help rank the Bucks wings in order of most to least importance to their postseason success.