Welcome to a new series commemorating an athlete who just flat out doesn’t perform in a given week. “Bonafide Scrub” comes from this classic segment where Stephen A. Smith rants on Kwame Brown as the centerpiece in a trade for Pau Gasol:
In keeping with the original segment, this first edition of BSOW will feature an NBA player who hasn’t been very good.
Bonafide Scrub of the Week – Pat Connaughton
The Milwaukee Bucks are currently down to the Miami Heat 0-3 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Not many people (other than Alex Chick and me) were pushing the ‘Bucks aren’t winning squat‘ narrative. Right now, it’s looking like we were correct. Mike Budenholzer’s coaching has been questionable at best, and the heralded Milwaukee bench hasn’t been pulling their weight at all. That brings us to Pat Connaughton.
Over the three Bucks losses, Connaughton has played a total of 38 minutes. At that time, he has a plus-minus of -27 while shooting two for nine (22.2%) from the field and zero for five from three. In Game 2, he had the lowest plus-minus of any Bucks player with -19 despite playing the third-fewest minutes. Connaughton’s reputation is as a three-and-D player. In these three games, he hasn’t done either one of those things effectively.
Plus-minus sometimes isn’t a super accurate statistic because there’s a lot of factors it doesn’t account; instead, it’s better to rely on other stats for an approximation of game-by-game value. But if you’re coming off the bench and have an abysmal plus-minus with limited minutes, that means something. Connaughton’s defensive value has been virtually zero, and he isn’t hitting shots.
Truthfully, the Bucks entire bench has been horrendous this series. Connaughton is more of a representative of all of them. To be clear, the blame for 0-3 falls more on Giannis and Budenholzer than anyone else. Stephen A. Smith said it best: “No disrespect whatsoever.” If the Bucks are going to turn it around, however, they’ll need guys like Connaughton to start performing.
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