In a recent matchup against the Spurs, Giannis Antetokounmpo played a great game. Despite the Bucks’ loss, 104-126, he had 24 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. Another notable part of this contest: It seems like the Spurs exposed a weakness in Antetokounmpo’s game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s impressive NBA career
The Milwaukee Bucks drafted Antetokounmpo in 2013 when he was only 18 years old. Six years later, he earned the 2019 NBA MVP. The forward led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals, posting an impressive average of 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds per game for the season.
Antetokounmpo is one of the best players in the league right now. During the 2016-17 season, he became the Most Improved Player and received a four-year contract extension valued at $100 million. The 25-year-old is having a phenomenal season and will play in the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago.
Before the start of the 2021-22 season, Antetokounmpo becomes eligible for a new contract. The five-year extension is believed to be valued at $247 million — one of the largest deals in NBA history. There is big money on the table, but if Antetokounmpo declines, he’ll become a free agent for the first time in his NBA career.
Does this MVP have a weakness?
In the 2019-20 season, Antetokounmpo is averaging 30 points per game with 12.9 rebounds and a field goal percentage of 55.7. When he makes his shots from the perimeter, the Bucks are unbeatable. He has a three-point field goal percentage of 32.1.
According to NBA Analyst, Tim Legler, the San Antonio Spurs found a weakness in Antetokounmpo’s game. He claims that by keeping the MVP bottled up in the lane, they weren’t fouling him and sending him to the line. This kept the Spurs’ frontcourt from getting into foul trouble and limited Antetokounmpo’s ability to draw fouls from the wings and guards.
The Spurs stopped worrying about Antetokounmpo’s three-point shots. In the recent game, they kept him to four free throws. Legler claims this was the secret to the Raptors’ playoff win against the Bucks.
The 76ers also seem to identify Antetokounmpo’s weakness. In a recent game, Philadelphia gave him whatever midrange deep shot he wanted. They limited Antetokounmpo to four free throws and beat the Bucks, 109-121.
The best of both worlds for Antetokounmpo
According to Legler, when a team takes on Antetokounmpo, they can’t allow him to have the best of both worlds. Legler says, “You can’t let him dominate you in the paint and gut you at the rim, get to the foul line, and also give up a ton of threes.”
Legler claims the Bucks are the best team in the East and that Antetokounmpo needs to get them through the next three rounds on the way to the postseason. The analyst feels teams have a good shot at beating the Bucks by limiting Antetokounmpo’s access to the foul line.
Shaken by the loss of Kobe Bryant
The untimely death of basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, shook the entire NBA. It seems Antetokounmpo took the news very hard. He deleted all of his social media accounts after hearing the news. According to the Greek Reporter, he needed time to process Bryant’s passing. Antetokounmpo idolized Bryant and said the most important lesson he learned from him was to always ask questions. Hopefully this loss won’t lead to further weaknesses in Antetokounmpo’s game as he struggles to answer the ultimate question – why?
Antetokounmpo idolized Bryant and said the most important lesson he learned from him was to always ask questions. Hopefully, this loss won’t lead to further weaknesses in Antetokounmpo’s game as he struggles to answer the ultimate question: Why?
Follow more updates from Sportscasting on our Facebook page.