He didn't play one minute in the Bucks' four-game sweep of the Miami Heat, yet the fingerprints of general manager Jon Horst were all over the victory.
Start with the trade for Jrue Holiday. It's not my intention to trash Eric Bledsoe. Let's just say that it should be obvious that Holiday is a terrific player on both ends and fits in beautifully. Horst also was able to secure a long-term commitment from Holiday.
The free agent acquisition of Bobby Portis has turned out better than anyone could have imagined. Portis has brought an edge and superb three-point shooting.
Bryn Forbes was another under-the-radar signing that has reaped important rewards. Forbes' long-range shooting helped douse the Heat.
The in-season acquisition of P.J. Tucker is an example of Horst's tireless approach to the job. Even though the Bucks were doing fine, Horst looked for ways the Bucks could improve. Tucker's defense and toughness have already surfaced. A possible playoff series with Brooklyn will underscore Tucker's importance.
Most importantly, Horst has secured the Bucks' on-court future by signing two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to a long-term contract extension. That was the biggest victory of this Bucks season. He kept Giannis off the free agent market and away from the clutches of other franchises who were plotting to lure him away.
Horst would be the first to tell you that the biggest challenges still await the Bucks.
A first round victory doesn't mean the Bucks have done anything exceptional.
I still think it's worth pausing to give Horst credit for trying to put the Bucks in the best possible position to succeed.