Donte DiVincenzo
How vital is Donte DiVincenzo towards the Bucks title run? The former Villanova guard could be Milwaukee’s biggest X-Factor down the stretch. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the NBA. All of the evidence points to that being the case. The Bucks have the best record in the NBA (41-7) and the best point differential (+12.3). The Bucks are amazing but there are still questions about whether it will translate when the games really count. It’s a fair question. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been doing a lot of it by himself. When we dive into the role players in Milwaukee, somebody like Donte DiVincenzo becomes a lot more vital than we believed before the start of the season.

How vital is Donte DiVincenzo towards the Bucks playoff run? Milwaukee doesn’t have a ton of X-Factors. I think I know what I’m getting from Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and the Lopez brothers. DiVincenzo is the one player on the roster who feels like a swing guy that could make or break a series.

When you start to think about it, this is make or break time in Milwaukee. If the Bucks fall short of the NBA Finals, you start to wonder if Giannis will commit to the Bucks long term. The Bucks have two cracks at the apple here. Crazy to think a player like Donte DiVincenzo could make or break if Giannis stays or goes.

Here is what we think we know about the Bucks. Giannis is worth about 3 All-Stars. Khris Middleton probably isn’t good enough to be the 2nd best player on a championship team. Eric Bledsoe does his best to disappear. Brook Lopez has turned into a high volume 3-point shooter. It’s a matter of if he’s hot or cold. Donte DiVincenzo is Milwaukee’s big X-Factor.

The Bucks drafted the former Villanova product with the 17th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. After a rookie year that was mired by injuries, Big Ragu has made an impact in his 2nd season. DiVincenzo is putting up a stat line of 9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 22.7 minutes of action. He also has an effective field goal percentage of 54 which is a plus.

DiVincenzo’s impact in Milwaukee has been bigger than you may think. The Bucks have an offensive rating of +18.1 per 100 possessions. Without Donte on the floor, that number dips to +8.1. That’s a 10 point swing. Yes, DiVincenzo’s success is a big deal for the Bucks.

Coach Buddenholzer has figured out a way to maximize Giannis. The Bucks are at their best when they can turn Giannis into a freight train that can kick to shooters all over the floor. DiVincenzo has to be one of those guys for the Bucks to make noise. If guys like DiVincenzo, Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews, and Pat Connaughton are hitting their shots, beating Milwaukee doesn’t seem feasible.

Donte DiVincenzo has the highest ceiling out of any of those guys. The departure of Malcolm Brogdon hasn’t hit but nobody has filled his shoes either. It’s time for the former Nova guard to be that guy. The Bucks title run could depend on it.

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