Welcome to the 2021-22 edition of the Bucks Weekly Spotlight. Each Thursday, we’ll track the progress of the players who are trying to help Milwaukee make another championship run and give updates on other players from the previous week.
This is the 11th edition of the 2021-22 Bucks Weekly Spotlight.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Guard Wesley Matthews
Two months ago, Matthews’ name probably wasn’t on the mind of any Bucks fans, unless they were talking about the 2019-20 season.
But Milwaukee brought in the veteran guard in December and he’s been carving out an important role for the Bucks the last few weeks.
His late-game big shots on Christmas Day against Boston put Matthews back in the Milwaukee spotlight. In the past week, that light has shone brighter.
Matthews has made multiple 3-pointers in four consecutive games. He hasn’t had a streak of 5+ games since Nov. 20-27, 2019.
He’s making shots from behind the arc at a good rate, too. In those four games he’s 14-for-25 (44.0%). Matthews has scored 9, 12, 9 and 13 points in these contests, which represents half of his double-digit scoring outputs so far this season.
Matthews is averaging 7.0 points per game, but his per-36 rate is better than he had last season with the Los Angeles Lakers (8.9) and with the Bucks in 2019-20 (10.9).
A big reason for Matthews’ production is he’s shooting at a career-best rate.
He entered this season shooting 42.1% from the field, 37.9% from 3 and 46.9% on 2-point shots with a 52.1% effective field-goal percentage.
This season those numbers are: 50.0% FG, 42.9% 3FG, 68.2% 2FG and 65.4% eFG.
It’s been an unexpectedly key role for Matthews. Who would have thought that back in October?
This week in Giannis: Antetokounmpo had a pair of double-doubles against Charlotte and went for 31 points, seven rebounds and nine assists at Brooklyn. He notched his fifth 40+-point game this season with 43 on Jan. 8. He had five of those all last season. His most in any given year is six, which he did in 2018-19.
-- Khris Middleton made 12 of 22 (54.5%) 3-point attempts in three games last week. In five January games, he’s making 45.2% from deep. This comes after shooting 40.0% from 3 in December.
-- Hello, again, Jordan Nwora. He averaged 11.3 points last week and had a box score plus/minus of +10.3, third best on the team in Milwaukee’s three games behind Bobby Portis (+13.3) and Matthews (+10.7). He made 8 of 19 (42.1%) of his 3 attempts.
-- Bobby Portis had two more double-doubles last week, giving him 14 on the season – which ties his season high. With half the season to go, we like his chances of setting a personal best in this category. His 15 games of 10+ rebounds – he did this in all three games last week – is one shy of his season high.