One injury to the Milwaukee Bucks bench has the chance to expose what could be the team’s most glaring weakness. Despite going 5-5 in their last 10 games, Milwaukee still sits in third place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and only 1.5 games behind the leading Boston Celtics. With a growingly competitive East, it would be wise for the Bucks to evaluate potential problems down the road. One that could get overlooked is the lack of bench depth and what an injury to one of its best players could mean.
For Milwaukee Bucks, it’s Bobby Portis or Bust
In a league of superstars, a team’s bench is oftentimes the most critically overlooked element to an organization’s success. And though players like Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton will be instrumental for any hope of a title, a productive, injury-free bench will be required for a deep postseason run. Which is why the presence of Bobby Portis is so important.
Bobby Portis just picked up his 5th straight double-double (his 23rd of the season)
He tied Dennis Rodman tonight for the 6th most double-doubles off the bench in NBA history (51) 🔥 pic.twitter.com/4KWtrdKk1f
— The Lead (@TheLeadSM) January 5, 2023
A closer look at the numbers shows the Bucks are 14th in the league in bench scoring at 34.9ppg. On top of that, Milwaukee’s bench is 2nd in the league with 19.4rpg. Respectable numbers for sure, but it’s concerning to see the team’s bench and recognize the majority of those stats only belong to one player: Portis. Sustaining 14.1ppg and 10.2rpg for the rest of the year would be a major lift to one of the Eastern Conference’s best organizations. The issue is there’s just not much other firepower off Milwaukee’s bench if something else were to happen to Portis.
Pat Connaughton‘s 7.1ppg, MarJon Beauchamp‘s 6.2ppg , and Jordan Nwora‘s 6.1ppg certainly matter. There’s no denying that, and their balance is important. But on a team with few weak spots, an injury to a player like Portis—who contributes to nearly half of the scoring and almost 75percent of the rebounding—is the type of concern that’s important to locate now. That way the organization as an opportunity to address in time for the trade deadline.
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