The Milwaukee Bucks went into the All-Star break showing genuine potential. It wasn’t until after the break that they exposed a huge problem for their team: lack of depth.
Milwaukee is seriously hurting when it comes to players at the point guard position. With Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova both sitting sidelined due to injury, there only remains one guy at the forefront of the point guard position, Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe has had to single-handedly run the position of playmaker for the past month. Brogdon and Dellavedova’s absences have left the Bucks with a tremendous lack of ball movement. Even though Brogdon and Dellavedova may not scream All-Star material, they are still crucial assets. They offer that consistency in ball movement the Bucks have built their offense around this season.
Since the Bucks depth in the ball handler position has dwindled down to only one man left standing, key scorers like Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, and Giannis Antetokounmpo all have declined in consistency from the field.
These guys are used to getting the ball dished to them left and right in order to score. Now, they are forced to make the play happen themselves. This has been noticeably difficult for the Bucks squad as they fall back in frustration on some deliberately overused isolation plays.
Milwaukee is in full-blown Kobe mode. Any basketball fan knows that when Kobe Bryant had the ball, he shot it. It was a little one-on-one and then done, and bucket or not, that is just how he played. The Milwaukee Bucks have adapted this type of play amidst their lack of depth, and it is pretty clear that everyone on the team is struggling to handle it.
Milwaukee is not an isolation team, plain and simple. The Bucks thrive on their humble team effort that serves as a foundation for their developing franchise. So, to put it simply, Milwaukee is failing by applying this type of one-man offense to their unit. The Bucks recent selfish play has shown in their games, going 3-6 since the All-Star break.
To the Bucks’ advantage, starting Monday night, they embark on a three-game series against teams who all have a record below .500. This is Milwaukee’s chance to gain their ground back and figure their ball movement issues out before the start of the playoffs.
They also just called up former Milwaukee Buck, Brandon Jennings, from their G-League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. Jennings played with Milwaukee for four years, averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He signed a 10-day contract with the Bucks in hopes to bring this team some much-needed help in the point guard position.
The Bucks are in the position to either make it or break it. They have to quit the Kobe-play and go back to their fast and fresh ball movement that drives this team back to being a serious playoff threat. If the Bucks don’t figure something out quickly, their play will keep them at their current eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, resulting in a probable loss in the first-round like last year.