Brandon Jennings Returns to NBA in Big Way with the Milwaukee Bucks
Don’t look now, but Brandon Jennings had a near triple-double in his first game back with the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, posting 16 points, with 12 assists and 8 rebounds.
What does this mean for Jennings, and for the Bucks going forward?
Brandon Jennings has had an interesting basketball career, to say the least. Originally bypassing college for the unconventional route of Italy’s Serie A, he famously exploded into the NBA with the Bucks, scoring 55 points in just his seventh career game. Many ups and downs followed. In 2012-2013, he teamed with Monta Ellis, leading the Bucks to the playoffs, only to be unceremoniously swept in the first round. In 2014-2015, Jennings was in the midst of a strong season with the Detroit Pistons, until he went down with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was never the same player since, eventually finding himself out of the league, and playing in China to start this season.
Can Jennings prove to be a useful player for the Bucks?
Despite an excellent debut, it is important to temper expectations, given his past struggles. However, Jennings might need to step up eventually. Despite Eric Bledsoe’s solid play, injuries remain a concern for the Bucks starting point guard, with Bledsoe having had numerous seasons cut short. Jennings may be called upon to step in if Bledsoe goes down again. Furthermore, the Bucks passing game is mediocre, ranking 19th in assists per game. Meanwhile, Jennings’ career APG average of 5.8 ranks higher than that of any other Bucks player this season. If there’s a way Jennings could help the Bucks, it would be as a facilitator, creating opportunities for the team’s stars.
No longer the precocious young phenom he once was, Brandon Jennings is now a seasoned veteran of the NBA and international ball. Was his return a mirage, or a harbinger of things to come?
The Bucks hope it is the latter.