Is Chris Douglas-Roberts the steal of the offseason for the Milwaukee Bucks?

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Chris Douglas-Roberts

The Milwaukee Bucks may have found the next Luke Ridnour.

Last season, Ridnour was the Bucks’ most reliable weapon off the bench when the team needed an energetic boost without interrupting the flow of the offense. Ridnour happily obliged by posting career high percentages in field goal, three point, and free throw percentages while averaging just 21 minutes a game.

By Jake McCormick

So when Ridnour went north to Minnesota to cash in on one of his best seasons to date, the Bucks were left with more than a void at the back-up point guard spot. Small forward Corey Maggette was expected to fill that sixth man role, but so far he has been inconsistent and out of place in Milwaukee’s system.

With Maggette doing little more offensively than boosting Milwaukee’s free throw attempts, shooting guard/small forward Chris Douglas-Roberts has recently established himself as the Bucks’ most reliable and versatile option not playing point guard or center.

There has always been something to like about Douglas-Roberts, who embraced the “Work Hard. Play Hard.” mantra of coach Scott Skiles before his arrival in Milwaukee was even made public.

Taking advantage of his first opportunity to start thanks to John Salmons’ back spasms, CD-R played a season high 40 minutes in the team’s 92-90 loss to the juggernaut San Antonio Spurs. The end results was a strong case for being GM John Hammond’s best offseason pick-up by tallying 21 points, two three pointers, and two steals.

Much like Ridnour, CD-R has posted career high shooting percentages, most notably a jump from 30% to 47% from beyond the arc, and is quickly playing his way into the starting small forward spot.

Chris Douglas-Roberts

AP Photo/Colin E Braley

Also like Ridnour, Skiles sacrifices above average defense for an offensive spark, but anyone who has watched the Bucks this year knows that a player that ranks third on the team in PER (16.0) deserves increased minutes over a defensive specialist like Luc Mbah a Moute.

Plus, the defensive drop off isn’t as high as you would assume. Jeremy over at Bucksketball does a great job of breaking down CD-R’s big-picture effect on the Bucks offense and his minimalistic impact on the team’s defense.

Even in a small sample size of eight games, CD-R has shown a knack for transition baskets (7-10 fg) and an ability to hit shots consistently as a spot up shooter. So far, 42.7% of CD-R’s shots have been taken from the spot up position, and he has drained 50% of them to make up the majority of his scoring.

The Bucks’ options for open shots along the outside took a major hit when Carlos Delfino’s concussion brought on the Adam James treatment, but CD-R has fulfilled that role admirably all over the court.

With the exception of shots taken between 10-15 feet, CD-R has career high shooting percentages at the rim (69%), 10 feet or less from the basket (67%), between 16-23 feet (46%) and an efficient field goal percentage of 62.6% from beyond the arc.

For what it’s worth, each one of these percentages is higher than those from Carlos Delfino’s 2009-10 season with lower shot attempts, which could be taken as a compliment to CD-R’s decision making abilities.

Chris Douglas-Roberts emergence as a legitimate small forward over the past few games is just a microcosm of a Milwaukee Bucks’ offense that has started to come around in the face of a tough December schedule.

My confidence in Chris Douglas-Roberts maintaining his current offensive output through the rest of the season is about the same as it was in Luke Ridnour’s ability to do the same at this point last year. But of course, we know how that turned out.

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