The Case for Giannis Antetokounmpo

9879497-nba-milwaukee-bucks-at-brooklyn-nets-1.jpgPhoto Credit: Behind the Buck Pass

The Greek Freak.  6’11”.  7’3″ wingspan.  242 lbs.  24 years old.  One of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA.  (Also maybe the hardest last name to spell in the Association so I will not try to write it again.)  Every single game he plays he has some sort of highlight, whether it’s absolutely yamming on someone or swatting an opponent’s shot to the moon.  The guy is electric game in and game out.  He can bang in the paint but he can also run the court with the best of them.  The only thing that would make him better is if he developed as a deep threat.  Even without that, he is one of the best players in the NBA, hands down.  If he keeps playing like he is, he should be the MVP.

The Milwaukee Bucks are sitting at 21-9, second in the East and tied for the second-best record overall.  Giannis is the key to the Bucks’ success.  Yes, they have a starting five made up of solid scorers and good defenders, but Giannis is leaps and bounds better than everyone on that team.  He is averaging 26.7 points per game (seventh in the NBA) on 17.1 shots per game.  He is shooting 59% from the field with a true shooting percentage of 63.5%.  He isn’t even in the top 20 of total field goals attempted in the NBA this season, but he is tied for fourth for total field goals made.  He also leads the Bucks in rebounding, by a lot (he more than doubles Khris Middleton who has the second most rebounds on the team).  Giannis has the third most defensive rebounds in the NBA and the seventh most total rebounds.  He averages 12.9 rebounds per game and he averages 6.1 assists per game, which is twentieth in the NBA.  He is fourth in defensive rating at 100.4 and fourth in win shares at 5.0.  He is first in win shares per 48 minutes at .255.  He is third in box plus/minus at 9.5 and third in value over replacement player at 2.7.  Clearly, Giannis is a force to be reckoned with stats-wise.

But forget those fancy stats; just watch him play.  Giannis can put people in the blender and he can back down the big boys.  Simply put, the Greek Freak is an absolute animal.  He will not be stopped.  He will not hesitate to humiliate opposing players on offense and defense.  I could watch him dunk on people for the rest of my life.  Even if he doesn’t win MVP this year, he certainly has at least one in his future.

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