I for one am not surprised that Sterling Brown was the best Milwaukee Bucks rookie in 2017-2018. Sterling came in as a battle tested four-year senior out of Southern Methodist University and was coached by NBA legend Larry Brown. Sterling really shined when unleashed in the middle of the season with injuries to high minute contributors Matthew Dellavedova and Malcolm Brogdon. Brown gave the Bucks key defensive minutes in the stretch of the season where he showed Bucks coaches that he could play hardnosed defense at a professional level. Offensively I believe that we were often waiting for Brown to hit that big momentum three, although he struggled those attempts will most certainly help him grow in to knock down those key shots in the future. Sterling Brown’s offensive game is actually really nice, but he brought us back to life with some expected rookie moments. Brown is a good three-point shooter hitting 35% from behind the arc, and his athleticism jumps off the screen when watching him in motion within the Bucks offense. I think that his impact on the Bucks was more than we expected, and it will push him to work harder to maintain a role with the Bucks new coaching staff and direction.
Highlights- January 28th vs Chicago
27 MP / 12 PTS / 6 REB / 2 STL / 1 AST/ 62.5 % FG% / +11 (+/-)
The Bucks struggled against the Bulls in the beginning of the 2017-18 campaign losing twice to Chicago before defeating them on this date. Sterling Brown had the opportunity to be a large factor in the January slate of games with Brogdon, Delly, Jabari, and Mirza all injured. Brown played 27 minutes scoring a solid 12 points off five of eight shooting knocking down two threes In addition to that he had six rebounds two steals, an assist, with a +11 rating. With all that being said his most impressive stat from this contest was his 97-defensive rating, which is just a peak into the defensive potential of Brown
Sterling gave us 27 minutes of opportune scoring and stingy perimeter defense, if Brown plays like he did in this game but consistently he could soon be the first guard off the bench for a playoff caliber team.
Lowlights- April 10th at Philadelphia
32 MP / 5 PTS / 4 REB / 1 AST/ 20% FG% / -15 (+/-)
Facing a 76ers team fighting for advantageous playoff seeding the Bucks walked into a whole world of hurt going down nearly 30 points after the first frame. Sterling did not help in that cause at all, Brown was a dreadful -15 shooting 20% on two of ten from the field in 32 minutes. This was an opportunity for Brown to show his ability to handle some scoring load as the starters in the game only had 30 of the Bucks 95 points. Perhaps this is the reason why Brown’s time was limited in the playoffs, but who is to know from that. This is the low side of what Brown could be in the Bucks lineup, a streaky shooter who is lazy on defense. If he takes this step backward next year his role will be diminished and he will be looked on as just another second round pick.
Sterling Brown determines where this relationship moves with the Bucks. Brown has the mold of a solid NBA wing and for a rookie he showed the ability to be coachable in tough situations. He could also be a role player it just depends on how hard he works. Brown should work towards being able to play 25+ minutes while effecting the play by consistent transition shooting and creating havoc as a on ball defender. If that is how it pans out Brown can be a consistent role player in year two, and would save Jon Horst a little from his first draft as Bucks GM. I think the Bucks would be smart to focus on the development of Brown while under his current rookie contract. There is no telling how much Brown’s value could rise if he continues to improve as a 3&D specialist in a league searching for those players.