Since head coach Jason Kidd switched up his starting lineup shortly before the All-Star break, the Milwaukee Bucks have posted a 5-4 record and have moved up one place in the Eastern Conference standings. Although the numbers do not show much, putting Miles Plumlee to the starting lineup has panned out in multiple ways that you would not find in the stat book.

The switch-up occurred February 9 against the Boston Celtics, a game where the Bucks had just returned home from an 0-5 road trip. Instantly, it appeared that Greg Monroe was benefiting from the change, putting up a season high 29 points, along with 12 rebounds off the bench.

In his nine games as a starter, Plumlee is averaging 7.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and over one block per game in just under 20 minutes. Despite the lack of stat sheet-stuffing numbers, Plumlee has provided a spark on both the offensive and defensive end for the Bucks.

It is no secret that Monroe, the former starter, has struggled to defend this year at the center position. Since Plumlee’s insertion into the lineup, the Bucks have only allowed their season average (103.3 ppg) five times, three of which were victories. In that span, Plumlee has faced tough opposition, having to guard Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, and Al Horford, to name a few. Additionally, Plumlee is blocking roughly 6% of opponent’s shots while he is on the floor, which is a career high.

On the offensive side, the lack of urgency to get Plumlee the ball has opened up the floor for others to contribute more effectively. With Monroe being such an important piece of the offense when he is on the floor, the offense around him can get stagnant at times. A primarily back to the basket player, the paint often sees no movement when Monroe has the ball.

While effective, that style of play can be worn out at times. Plumee’s ability to step out and spread the floor has opened up the lane for slashers Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker to get the rim. Since Plumlee has been the starter, Parker has scored double digits in every game, including two separate career highs in points, the most recent a 36-point performance against the Rockets. On top of that, Giannis has recorded both of his two career triple doubles in that stretch as well.

While Plumlee might not be the guy who drops 20+ points a game, his willingness to step out and set screens, as well as always seeming to be in the right place has boosted the numbers of those around him. His contributions may go unnoticed but overall have improved the play of the Bucks since his insertion. With the Bucks looking to make a run, Plumlee could be a key factory in a late-season playoff push.