A big product of the Milwaukee Bucks’ injury record earlier this season was the number of line-up combinations head coach Mike Budenholzer had to try. While it can be frustrating at times, it can pay off in the long run.
Sure, we’d love the Bucks to introduce Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez in every game and take in some wins. But there is an advantage to having many unique lineups, and you can find out which combinations go together and which don’t.
There may be a combination of setups that theoretically works, but lights up when it’s placed in the field, or vice versa. Some lineups just have better synergy than others and it’s good to find out early, especially with RPG players who need specific locations to pass.
The Bucks only have a handful of lineups that have played together for more than 20 minutes, which makes it a little difficult to trust whether those lineups stay good or bad, but there are still a few that are considered good or bad can.
One of the Milwaukee Bucks’ best lineups: Holiday / Allen / Middleton / Antetokounmpo / Portis
This one should come as no surprise as it includes the top three players in the Bucks, plus Grayson Allen, who had a great start to his Bucks career, and Bobby Portis, who stepped in very well at helping the Bucks get the ball off Brook Lopez in the starting XI.
These were the top five of the bucks in the last three games and together they achieved great results in 27 minutes with a net rating of plus 32.8. They killed it on either end of the floor with an attack rating of 124.1 and a stingy defense rating of 91.4 in their so far limited sample.
There’s a ton of clearance for antetokounmpo at drives with shooters like Portis, Allen and Middleton to spread the floor and let Holiday work on the darker spot when their superstar has the ball in his hands.
It also offers more flexibility for ball handling with Holiday and Middleton on the floor, each of whom can pick and roll with antetokounmpo, while teams also worry about the threat of the shooters walking away from the ball.
This will certainly be a fixture for the Budenholzer as the season progresses, regardless of when Lopez and Donte DiVincenzo return from their respective injuries.