Donte DiVincenzo is facing a make-or-break year for a variety of reasons. The Milwaukee Bucks first round pick had another injury that knocked him out long term for the second time in his three-year career. The Bucks also potentially traded for a player who could take his starter spot in Grayson Allen. He also heads into the final year of his rookie contract and will hope to make a payday. There is a lot riding on this year for Donte DiVincenzo as he was voted as the 6th most important player for Milwaukee’s playoff success with 65% of the votes. I am actually surprised he lasted this long to be honest; while the poll was neck and neck between him and Pat Connaughton for 7th, it was a clear consensus choice this time around.
Donte continued his slow growth last season as he became the 5th starter after Wesley Matthews’ departure. Donte did his usual “doing stuff” like flying in for rebounds and jumping into passing lanes; he even decided to make a few more threes this season increasing his percentage from 33% to 37%. Donte did what he needed and when he was healthy, gave Milwaukee more from the starting 2 guard role than Matthews did. DiVincenzo is the Bucks best, or only depending on your viewpoint, young asset in the team as well so his importance could potentially be a trade chip if Milwaukee feels as though the number it wold take to re-sign him is too high. There is something you can appreciate with having a player that is like a swiss army knife. Donte’s offense, as mentioned before, provides a little bit of variety which could help the Bucks’ offense should it stagnate. On defense, DiVincenzo was still getting his steals and a very underrated skill was his willingness to go and get rebounds.
The toughest part about trying to truly know what Donte’s importance could be is first and foremost his health. While this injury was more a potential product of Goran Dragic, it was still another playoff run the Bucks had to carry on with Donte. After a heel issue shut down his rookie year you have to wonder if DiVincenzo is injury prone and someone you can truly count on being healthy come April. While his willingness to drive to the hoop is appreciated, it doesn’t do much good if he finishes at the rim as poorly as he did last year at a subpar 52.9%. While Donte was missed, the team didn’t really miss a beat with him. Allen, Connaughton or George Hill could likely fill in and provide just as much as DiVincenzo did.
I’m not sure what will happen to Donte this season. I truly hope he can stay healthy as he does enough stuff well to help Milwaukee. But potential replacements and health will likely be the barrier to him being as important for Milwaukee’s postseason success compared to last year. Milwaukee showed it can manage without him so for his make-or-break year, let’s hope there isn’t a break to his body.
The 5th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s Postseason Success is...
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