Milwaukee Bucks: How Much Better Can Giannis Antetokounmpo Get?

This past season, the Milwaukee Bucks’ forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had one of the most statistically impressive seasons in NBA history. Not only did the Greek Freak average an incredible combination of 22.9 points, 8.8 boards, and 5.4 assists per game, but he was also the first player in NBA history to rank in the top-20 for points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks for an entire season. That’s right, not even Jordan, Kareem, Duncan, LeBron, nor any other NBA player – great or otherwise – has managed such an impressive stat line for a whole season. Along with these stats, Giannis ranked 10th in the NBA in player-efficiency-rating, ahead of superstars such as Steph Curry, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, and Kyrie Irving. And at only 22 years-old, many people are wondering how good Giannis can become.

Right now, Giannis’ greatest strength is his combination of size and athleticism. At a height of 6’11” and a massive wingspan of 7’3″, the Greek Freak is impressively long and lanky. For someone with these dimensions, Giannis has remarkable athletic ability and coordination, which he uses to create an absolutely unfair advantage when attacking the rim. From the 3-point line, Giannis is able to take just one dribble and get to the paint, a distance most players need multiple dribbles to accomplish. And once at the basket, Giannis has no problem finishing, even in traffic. This means big men simply cannot stay in front of him on defense; while smaller, quicker defenders are too short to contest his layup attempts.

Giannis does have one glaring weakness – his shooting. This season he only shot 27% from 3, far below the NBA average and even farther below what a team wants from it’s best player and scorer. His lack of 3-pointing shooting ability is also a blessing for opposing defenders, who can give him extra space on the perimeter, making it harder for Giannis to drive to the hoop. A lot of times when this happens, Giannis tends to slowly dribble inside for a couple steps and settle for long, 2-point jumpers (another shot he isn’t great at). But, if he is able to improve his deep shooting, he would force defenders to play him tighter, allowing him to get more drives to the hoop, as well as being able to hit more open threes when he gets them.

Another area where Giannis can improve is in the post. While he isn’t necessarily bad down low, he’s not great either, especially for someone his size. Unless he can turn and dunk over his defender, he often struggles to score with his back to the basket. This probably has a lot to do with his body and length. Most post moves and shots require good footwork and lots of finesse, and Giannis’ long limbs and tall, thin body makes it more difficult to execute these kinds of movements. His awkward body dimensions make it very hard to hit a fadeaway or other, more advanced post moves. This would be another invaluable skill Giannis could add to his offensive arsenal.

Overall, Giannis’ body is his greatest asset and the reasoning behind almost all of his basketball skills. That being said, he is still quite raw and undeveloped in a lot of ways. But, Milwaukee Bucks fans have no reason to panic, as having some underdeveloped skills in not uncommon for a 22 year-old in the NBA. If Giannis can improve in just a couple of areas, he could become one of the most dominant players in the league, and it could be that way for a long time.

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