The Milwaukee Bucks are going to have one of the best starting lineups in the NBA this season. By all accounts, they had one of the best starting five over the last three years with Jrue Holiday as their starting point guard. However, that lineup got even better when they traded Holiday and starting shooting guard Grayson Allen for seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard.
Now the Bucks’ starting lineup boasts Lillard, three-time All-Star Khris Middleton, arguably the best player in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Defensive Player of the Year finalist Brook Lopez. As it has been over the last few seasons, the shooting guard position will be the “weakest link” of the lineup. And how could it not be with those four?
Perhaps it is due to the immense talent at the other four positions that one NBA analysts believes that Milwaukee’s shooting guard position is one of the biggest lineup holes in the league.
NBA Analysts Says the Milwaukee Bucks’ Shooting Guard Position Is a Huge Hole
By all accounts, it appears as if Malik Beasley will be the Bucks’ starting shooting guard this season. Earlier last week, head coach Adrian Griffin said that Beasley would be tasked with guarding their opponents’ toughest players this season. In order to get that assignment, Beasley needs to be starting.
The fact of the matter, though, is that Beasley is not an adept defender. This has led Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley to write that the Bucks’ shooting guard position is one of the five biggest lineup holes in the NBA:
“Malik Beasley can shoot, but that’s all he does. MarJon Beauchamp could add defense and athleticism, but he can’t shoot. Pat Connaughton is capable of a lot of things, but he doesn’t do them consistently. Jae Crowder (who’d slide into the 3 spot and bump Middleton to the 2) has been an effective three-and-D wing before, but the Bucks had him last season and hardly played him.”
The Bucks’ certainly have a plethora of candidates who can start, but it sounds like Beasley is going to get the nod, and it makes sense for several reasons.
The Case for Malik Beasley to Be the Milwaukee Bucks’ Starting Shooting Guard
As Buckley notes above, each of the candidates for the starting shooting guard position bring their own strengths. Beasley’s is that he is an adept shooter. While he has a 37.8.% three point percentage in his career, he has a 40% three point percentage as a starter.
The notion of starting Middleton at shooting guard and Crowder at the wing is an interesting one, and one that Griffin must have strongly considered. However, Middleton is coming off of an injury plagued 2022-23 season and offseason surgery. There is not time for him to assimilate to a new position, especially since he is a three-time All-Star as a forward anyway.
Connaughton has proven to be a better bench player than starter throughout his career, and Beauchamp is still developing. As Beasley is on a one-year deal in Milwaukee, Beauchamp could end up as the starter next season, but for now will enjoy more minutes off the bench under Coach Griffin than he got under previous head coach Mike Budenholzer.