Bucks Lead

Bucks Award Winners So Far This Season

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The Milwaukee Bucks currently post the best record in the NBA (26-10). This wouldn’t be possible without high team charisma and contribution. That being said, we thought it would be fun to look at who the award winners would be for the Bucks at this point in the season.

MVP and ROY

Let’s get these out of the way right off the bat– simply because there is no debate for these. Giannis Antetokounmpo is obviously far and away the best player on the roster and a big reason the Bucks are where they are right now. Also, Donte DiVincenzo is the only rookie on the roster this season.

Sixth Man Award: Tony Snell

This one was a little tricky. In terms of talent, Ersan IlyasovaGeorge Hill and Tony Snell are all pretty equal. But the edge goes to Snell for the sole fact that he has been available for more games. Hill hasn’t been here long enough (11 games), while Ilyasova has been injured as of late– playing in 12 fewer games than Snell.

With that said, Snell has added a lot more consistency to his play since last year, and is a perfect 3-and-D player most teams covet. He’s shooting 38% from three and has played solid defense on opposing wings. He has also added more playmaking to his arsenal this year, showing he has the ability to take people to the basket by himself. You can see a good mix of what Snell brings off the bench in the recent win over the Boston Celtics.

Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez have both been great defenders this year. After digging deeper into their stats, however, it’s clear that Giannis deserves to win at this point in the season. Bledsoe excels at perimeter defense (1.3 steals/game) and Lopez excels at rim protection (1.9 blocks/game). Giannis is the only player on the Bucks averaging more than one in both categories (1.3 and 1.6 respectfully). Giannis also has the best defensive rating of the three at 100.4, four points lower than the Bucks’ team average.

Additionally, Giannis has a heavy advantage in rebounds over both of them (12.6 per night). At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good of defense you play if you aren’t able to corral the board. All three of them have contributed to the Bucks being one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, but Giannis just impacts more areas defensively than the other two.

Most Improved Player: D.J. Wilson

The Bucks don’t have anyone that transformed from a bench player to a contributing starter this season. So the next step on the progression ladder is looking at previous end-of-the-bench players to regular rotation contributors. This is exactly what D.J. Wilson has done this year. Last year, Wilson played a total of 22 games– averaging a mere 3.2 minutes of garbage time. This year, he’s already appeared in 10 games with 18.2 minutes of floor time per contest. Ilyasova’s fractured nose opened the door for Wilson to actually play this year– and he hasn’t let this opportunity slip away. He has turned himself into a solid rotational 3-and-D player off the bench and has actually made very few mistakes for how little experience he has. And it seems that his teammates share this sentiment as well.

It will be interesting to see how much playing time Wilson will get once Ilyasova returns, but either way, he has been the most improved player so far this year.

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